‘The Golden Bachelor’ Is Making Senior Citizens Sleep on Bunk Beds

These contestants—who are 60 to 75—should not have to climb up a ladder in order to sleep off their days as reality TV fodder.

‘The Golden Bachelor’ Is Making Senior Citizens Sleep on Bunk Beds
Left: Theresa, 70, reacts to the bunkbeds. Right: Sandra, 75, claims a bottom bunk. Screenshot:Bachelor Nation on ABC/YouTube (Other)

On the second episode of ABC’s The Golden Bachelor, the women who are officially in the race for 72-year-old Gerry Turner’s heart move into the infamous Bachelor mansion. More than dozen women run through the house, remarking on the souped-up Airbnb they’ll live in for the next month. The couches are lovely! The closets are small! The rooms have uh, bunkbeds? Yes: Bunkbeds. For contestants aged 60 to 75.

Sandra, a 75-year-old who has been very clear that she wants to continue maintaining an active lifestyle (yes, she means what you think she means) with her man, immediately claims a bottom bunk. She’s had both knees replaced after all! Plus, she wants to be closer to the bathroom. (In fact, multiple women agree that needing to use the bathroom overnight is now their reality.)

The bunkbeds—which are standard for the typical Bachelor/ette crowd—is just the first sign that this franchise has not fully taken into account that their Golden contestants have different needs than the 20-something women and men who are usually frolicking about the mansion.

While driving 70-year-old Theresa to their date, Gerry has some problems working the headlights of a vintage car he’s never driven before; he also appears to have some issues seeing some of road signs. I don’t think older people should be banished to only daylight hours, but I think the producers should have at least made sure Gerry’s headlights were working before letting him loose on the California highway. Or even better, they could’ve gotten the couple a driver so they could enjoy the romantic convertible ride, instead of forcing their lead to squint at freeway signs.

In her exit interview, Natascha, a 60-year-old pro-aging coach who doesn’t receive a rose, makes an extremely salient point: “You have people in their 60s and 70s. Do the rose ceremonies in chairs,” she says. “They have chair yoga, chair aerobics. Chair rose ceremony.”

The first shot of the series shows Gerry putting in his assistive hearing devices, and in Episode 2, one of the women shows off her own. That is certainly important for a show watched by millions of Americans—but, as is typical of this franchise that can never seem to fully commit to progress, it’s just a single positive step. These 60- and 7o-somethings are obviously physically active and vibrant—but that doesn’t mean they don’t need accommodations. Justice for Sandra’s knees!

Stream The Golden Bachelor now on Hulu.

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