Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Life

The Last Place


Dev Appleyard at Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, Illinois.

For most of human history, people didn’t expect to live into their 80s and 90s. But these days, that’s the fastest-growing segment of the US population. According to the latest study from the Center for Disease Control, over 2 million people in the United States are living full-time in nursing homes or retirement communities.

When you spend so much of your life getting to the next stage, thinking about the next move, what is it like to find yourself at…the Last Place?

Some time back we became mildly obsessed with this question. So we spent months visiting one retirement community – Presbyterian Homes in Evanston, Illinois. We got to know some of the residents there, and gave a few of them tape recorders to keep audio diaries of their lives in retirement.

In this episode of the Radio Diaries podcast, we you bring stories from “The Last Place.”

Thanks to Eleanor Erickson, Joe Peine, Dev and Betty Appleyard, and newlyweds Evelyn Jo Johnson and John Beierwaltes for sharing their stories and their audio diaries. The music was performed by Presbyterian Home residents George Stamm, Claude Metzler, and the monthly Presbyterian Home singalong group.


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