Aging In Place – In Community, Not Alone

There’s a lot of talk about aging in place, meaning staying in your home and in your community as you get older, rather than moving to a retirement community or assisted living facility. Most of us would prefer to stay where we are – but for our generation, there are challenges and pressures: A third of us have never married, and a third of single households are persons age 65 and older. Close to 25% of all boomers do not have children, a percentage that’s even higher among single boomer women. Those who are single face extra financial pressures when trying to stay in their homes; those without children face a future with little to no personal support as they age.

The movement that’s now gathering speed is called aging in community, described by its proponents as the communitarian alternative to aging in place alone. A recent article in Generations, the journal of the American Society on Aging, describes this alternative as one that emphasizes friends and neighbors supporting each other as they age. Aging in community, they say, is a “grassroots movement of like-minded citizens who come together to create systems of mutual support and caring to enhance their well-being, improve their quality of life, and maximize their ability to remain, as they age, in their homes and communities.” Such a model is practical, comfortable, and sustainable – allowing seniors to stay connected and active, and to feel valued as members of their own communities. Brilliant. Beacon Hill Village in Boston and the Circle of Caring in Whidbey Island, Washington are two such examples. Click here to read the full article.

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