In the past, aging in place often meant that people became isolated. As their long-term neighbors moved away or died and new, younger families moved into the neighborhood, many elderly people simply began to hole up in their homes with little or no social interaction with the community around them.
Where to Find Age in Place Villages
According to a U.S. News article dated April 4, 2013, the concept of Age in Place Villages began in 2001 when several senior citizens in the Beacon Hill area of Boston decided that their neighborhood needed to have more support services if seniors were going to be able to successfully and happily live out their lives in their current homes. They called their network of support systems a "village." The original Age in Place Village was very simple, primarily consisting of neighbors who were willing to check on each other and help each other out, when needed.
The village concept has become more sophisticated and is now spreading across the nation. Today, the Beacon Hill Village has a board of directors and an executive director. Their goal has also expanded beyond the idea of simply making it easier for people to remain in their homes. Today they also strive to provide more community activities so that aging citizens can find companionship and fun activities in their neighborhood, providing them with some of the same benefits they would find in an over-55 retirement community.
Rutgers School of Social Work has studied the village phenomena and they concluded that there are now about 85 organized Age in Place Villages located around the United States and 120 more are planned for the near future.
According to the Age in Place website, the goal of the village concept is to help people remain active, independent and social in the neighborhoods that feel familiar to them. The movement has now also formed a National Aging in Place Council called NAIPC.
You can find local chapters of NAIPC in these areas, as well as many others:
Long Island, New York
Minneapolis - St. Paul
Orange County, California
Providence, Rhode Island
The Resources Provided by the Villages
One way that these villages succeed is by providing senior citizens with access to local service providers who can help them remain in their homes. While there are many types of services that can benefit seniors, depending on their needs, some of the choices include adult day care services, money management and credit counseling, in home care, home accessibility consultants, physical therapists and much more. These organizations can also help seniors learn how to find local transportation assistance and make their homes more senior friendly.
As a resident of Orange County, California, I have known people who have taken advantage of some of the transportation assistance, adult daycare services, in-home care providers and similar programs. The network of senior centers that are dotted throughout Orange County have helped many senior citizens stay active. Before I moved to my current over-55 retirement community, I took yoga classes at a senior center in Irvine, California. While I was there, I observed other senior citizens who were enjoying low cost lunches, taking exercise or art classes, playing bridge and participating in many of the same activities that are available in my retirement community. These senior centers have made me aware of the fact that many people can remain in their current communities and still stay connected with their peers, get out of their homes, make new friends and participate in a variety of activities.
If you are interested in aging in place, you may want to contact the NAIPC at www.ageinplace.org. The information they provide will make your aging experience go smoother, since they strive to help senior citizens find the resources they need to successfully remain in their homes as they age, even if they need a little help in order to achieve this goal.
If you need assistance with your retirement planning, or you have not made up your mind where you want to live after you retire, you may be interested in using the tabs or pull down menu at the top of this article or checking out the index articles shown below. Each index articles contains a short introduction followed by links to a number of other posts that have been made to this blog about a wide variety of topics.
Gifts, Travel and Family Relationships
Great Places for Boomers to Retire Overseas
Great Places to Retire in the United States
Health and Medical Topics for Baby Boomers
Money and Financial Planning for Retirement
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