It takes a village.
When considering the many options of senior housing there is a new one on the block. It is called the Village Movement and is a response to the Baby Boomers desire to stay at home. Near 90% of the aging population prefers to remain in their own home for as long as possible. Compared to downsizing to a senior apartment complex or moving to an assisted living facility, the idea of remaining at home with some assistance is quickly gaining ground. The new Elderly of this generation don’t plan on following typical path of previous generations. With new attitudes about how to live as a senior, this generation is creating their own way of preparing for their care years.
Village Movement Networks
The idea is based on the concept of grouping together and sharing costs for assistance often needed by the aging population. Elderly who live in a community join together as a nonprofit organization to gain access to services that they need. For a yearly fee, the members have access to a network of services provided by both volunteers and paid providers. Services range from home improvements to make their dwelling safer to transportation and meal delivery to health care services of visiting Caregivers and nurses.
Networks of villages are springing up all over the country. Many in urban areas have grown to be able to include social activities as well as practical services. As village organizations grow in strength and they are able to offer help with assistance with financial and medical planning as well as understanding insurance benefits. Some even offer reduced or sliding scale rates for lower-income members.
People who use the Village Movement see it as a form of insurance. They join not because they need all the services at the moment but with the knowledge that they may need them in the future. Knowing that someone can help change light bulbs up on the ceiling or drive to a doctor’s appointment or mow the lawn keeps this these seniors independent much longer. It also provides peace of mind for family members who live far away.
There are Village Networks all over the United States. Check out the Village-to-Village Network at http://www.vtvnetwork.org/ to learn about one near you.
Kate McCarthy is Director of Operations for HomeAid Health Care which provides services for the elderly who wish to remain safe and independent at home. HomeAid is sister company to Prairie Home Assisted Living which has served the physical, spiritual, mental and health needs of their Residents since 1999. Together the two family owned companies provide comprehensive care for the elderly in the Fox Valley of Wisconsin.
Sources: "Welcome to Age 50: Top Caregiving Tips" by Gary Drevitch, Retrieved from www.forbes.com/sites on 2/12/14.