Aging in Place Offers an Alternative to Leaving the Neighborhood
doesn’t mean having to leave home. More and more seniors are choosing to stay
where they feel most comfortable, familiar, and safe—rather than living out
their golden years in traditional retirement facilities. If this is what you
want, you need to become familiar with Aging in Place, a concept defined by the
National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) as “the ability to continue to live in
one’s home safely, independently, and comfortably—regardless of age, income, or
ability level.” You can do it on your own, or maybe even join up with other
neighbors in your situation.
Aging in Place communities, large neighborhoods of seniors that offer
numerous services, are springing up in cities around the country. There are 16
such communities in Washington, D.C., many of which are modeled after Beacon
Hill Village, an over-50 community in the Boston area.
Volunteers help with numerous tasks, and the communities partner with service
providers to offer social and cultural activities, exercise opportunities, home
maintenance services, medical care, or assisted living at home.
Capitol Hill Village in Washington, for example, has 82 members, all of whom
live within a 2.5-square-mile range of one another. They pay $500 per person or
$750 per household, which gains them access to services from garden maintenance
and pet feeding to transportation for doctors’ appointments. Nearly half the
members double as volunteers for these services. To read more about how this
particular community works, visit its Web site.
But such communities aren’t found everywhere. So to help you on your quest to
remain independent, visit NAIPC’s Web site, and click on “A Guide to
Aging in Place.” Other links at the site offer stories from around the country,
recommended reading materials, and a resource directory that will give you some
ideas of the types of services you might need to get started. You don’t need to
join the NAIPC to access most of the information.
Published February 27, 2008
Silver Planet Staff