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It takes a village....
Old 08-16-2007, 05:35 PM   #1
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It takes a village....

Interesting article in the NY Times a couple days ago:

A Grass-Roots Effort to Grow Old at Home

... a movement to make neighborhoods comfortable places to grow old, both for elderly men and women in need of help and for baby boomers anticipating the future.

I was recently researching various flavors of "independent living," "assisted living" and "continuing care" communities for a relative, and I'm not crazy about any of them. I like the idea of a Mayberry-esque town with reliable assistance available and ideally good medical and nursing home facilities nearby.

Anybody familiar with the villages in the article or any Mayberry-esque old-age-friendly towns?
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:17 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twaddle View Post
Interesting article in the NY Times a couple days ago:

A Grass-Roots Effort to Grow Old at Home

... a movement to make neighborhoods comfortable places to grow old, both for elderly men and women in need of help and for baby boomers anticipating the future.

I was recently researching various flavors of "independent living," "assisted living" and "continuing care" communities for a relative, and I'm not crazy about any of them. I like the idea of a Mayberry-esque town with reliable assistance available and ideally good medical and nursing home facilities nearby.

Anybody familiar with the villages in the article or any Mayberry-esque old-age-friendly towns?
No, I'm not, but they sound wonderful. For some time I have planned to volunteer to help those more elderly than me, once I have retired. There are so many simple things that could help an elderly person, like changing a light bulb, or taking someone shopping, or reading to them. If there were enough people helping the elderly, they could live independently for so much longer.

One concern that I have is that by the time I am ready for assisted living (along with a bazillion other Baby Boomers), the waiting lists may be even longer and the costs will be phenomenal. This approach could help.

Back in the 1960's, a lot of us who were college aged, idealistic, and more or less hippies helped each other a lot and cooperated in similar ways. I wonder if there is a spark of that idealism left. Probably not, but living in one of these villages would be a great way to grow old.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Disclosure: I came into adulthood in the 60s. The 'kids' don't know that that means but others on this board might.

Take a look at co-housing. It isn't specifically designed for elders but would work for many.
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Old 08-17-2007, 09:04 AM   #4
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Planning on 'going Amish', they know how to take care of their elders.
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Old 08-17-2007, 11:02 AM   #5
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looks like a great idea. on a similar line of thinking, some cousins and friends of mine have discussed as a group buying some land in a third world country together & building a compound of houses for ourselves. that way we could have housing needs met, have caregivers at a very reasonable rate and be there to look after each other. i guess the sole survivor loses out on that last part though.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:41 AM   #6
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The article mentions a retirement community in Palo Alto, CA, relatively close to where I live. While I'm not positive, I think that it may be referring to one that was built by Classic Residence by Hyatt. While I would assume everyone in this community is 55+, I think the age range is pretty varied, and the community is extremely nice. Might be worth a look.
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:41 PM   #7
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I haven't looked at it Courtney, but I venture that few but retired VC Managers could afford it. The residence in Davis might be suitable.

The essence of 'age in place' are continuing care retirement communities (discussed in earlier threads).

I too have considered retirement where the cost of care is cheaper. The problem I found is that you are disconnected from family, the folks who (usually) check to make sure your needs are met.
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:40 AM   #8
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looks like a great idea. on a similar line of thinking, some cousins and friends of mine have discussed as a group buying some land in a third world country together & building a compound of houses for ourselves. that way we could have housing needs met, have caregivers at a very reasonable rate and be there to look after each other. i guess the sole survivor loses out on that last part though.
Sounds like "co-housing".. there are a lot of resources out there about how to set such things up. The key would be structuring it so that it could open up to new members as the old ones passed on.

My old business partner and one of my dearest friends spontaneously developed this kind of lifestyle when they were in their 30s..

BP and wife bought a 3-family house with a BIL, his wife, and a third couple of old friends. They each proceeded to have children (1 boy and 1 girl each!) for a total of 6 kids. It was infinite help with day-to-day life.. home maintenance (1 set of tools/gadgets), logistics of minding kids (picking them up and dropping them off).

In another scenario, DF and spouse found adjacent apts with a couple of close friends. The friends also had a sister renting one of their rooms. When they decided after many years to ditch the apt. scene, they found a weird property w/2 small houses on the same lot and all 5 of them de-camped to the new property owned by DF. DF and the lady of the other couple both have health issues, and the fact that they support one another (and work at the same company) really helps.

Neither of these groups have gotten to the "caregiver" point, and I guess there are potentials for disagreements, but I think the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I think most of us grew up with independence, privacy, and our own "space" being the ideal.. and don't we realize what we've lost in the trade-off until we're "up against it".

It's really an attractive idea when you think about being able to build smaller private units (more cost- and energy-efficient) along with shared spaces for guests, big kitchen and hall for entertaining, pool, garden area and so forth. I look at our 2 cars, all the tools in our garage, all the books I have, and "stuff" I never use (but might!), the grand piano, the church organ.. and think, what if I could 'share' this stuff conveniently while still having it be "mine"?
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:05 AM   #9
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Elder Cohousing | Cohousing Association of the U.S.
Elder Cohousing Communities
Cohousing Communities Directory

While the co-housing concept carries some of the negatives of "gated" communities and condos.. there's at least a lot of upside.. People not linked by a common desire to close out the world, but to bring some of it back together...

This looks just charming!
Peterborough Cohousing - Nubanusit Neighborhood & Farm: The Farm
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Old 08-28-2007, 11:19 AM   #10
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mostly for LG4NB, good articles here:
Creating Cohousing | Cohousing Association of the U.S.
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