The retirement home industry has been slow to accommodate the lifestyles of the senior citizens it services. A great many homes offer swing music with dinner and movie classics from the 1930's and 1940's. A steadily growing market segment is now gearing up for the millions of former hippies who are approaching their golden years.
Many old hippies gave up their lifestyle years ago, but find themselves yearning for the carefree days they once enjoyed. Many haven't smoked a joint or dropped acid since the Sixties, but some continue the old lifestyle to this day. Arriving in a retirement home with several cartons filled with tie-died shirts, well-worn sandals and bell-bottom jeans, and a small stash of ganja, these old hippies certainly do not want to hear Benny Goodman and eat mashed potatoes.
At the Naturally Hip Retirement Home in an Atlanta suburb, old hippies are made to feel right at home with the morning yoga sessions, constant smell of marijuana in the hallways, organic style meals, hot tub orgies, and crash pads for their visiting friends.
"This place is like so cool, man," says one aging hippie. "It's like having good flashbacks all day long. We just have a nice mellow time---no protest marches, no panhandling for spare change, and no having to deal with the man all the time."
Several retirement homes are offering free recreational drugs and even professional guides for LSD trips. Local law enforcement officials have taken a hands-off approach to such activities as long as the drugs stay in the retirement homes and do not spread into the local high schools.
If you or someone you love are an old flower child approaching the golden years and want more information, please write to the International Association of Hippie Retirement Homes, Post Office Box 97305, San Francisco, CA.