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Maria B. Dwight
Maria B. Dwight
Gerontological Services Inc.
William H. Dwight, Leslie (Lili) Dwight, Valle E. Dwight, Timothy M. Dwight, Dr. Ryan Dwight,
Ball Award (2010)
Maria B. Dwight is an American activist with a particular focus on improving lives for the aging and elderly, particularly regarding housing issues. She is a planner of multicultural communities as well as a consultant notable for having a center in Holyoke named after her called the Maria B. Dwight Geriatric and Rehabilitation Center in 1977. Her views on issues affecting the elderly have been quoted in USA Today and the New York Times. She works in Santa Monica, California.
Regarding the issue of the elderly and community, she said:
This old idea of being born in a town that you grow up in and know everybody is quite absent now … The whole concept of community has changed dramatically in the last few decades, and now people are looking for ways to socialize. Instead of sitting around growing old and moaning, they want to talk about plays, where they traveled, and be with people who like the same thing. If traditional housing providers don’t create these options, you’re going to see people doing it on their own. — Maria Dwight, 2007
Dwight has commented on issues relating to the gay community regarding aging; she said that gay men and lesbians are often closer to gay “families of choice” rather than to their biological families and she finds a strong need for communities to serve the elderly population in urban areas. She contributed $200 to oppose a ban on gay marriage according to the Los Angeles Times. She believes that as the baby boomer generation moves into retirement, there will be a “two-class society” and that boomers will be agents of change regarding the health care system. She said:
I don’t think the boomers have a clue what they will want when they are old. I don’t think many people do. It will be a service-oriented society and it will be a two-class society. I think the first time the boomers ever bump