“It Takes a Village” – to Care for an Aging Population
Every year some 1.7 million Americans will turn 65 – and three-fourths of them (along with their aging peers) agree that they would prefer to age in their own homes instead of moving to a retirement home. But with the aging population growing so fast, are there enough creative housing solutions to allow so many seniors to live independently?
A recent article on the website SeniorCareAdvice.com spotlights a new twist on an old concept that may give thousands of seniors the chance to do just that.
The idea: the “new village.” This growing phenomenon is described in the article as “an integral part of the growing movement to provide the support and services that will help America’s rapidly aging population age in place.” Click here to read this insightful article.
New villages are a fresh twist on the old idea of neighbors helping neighbors. The first of these “villages” was started in Boston in 2001 when about a dozen long-time neighbors decided they wanted to join together to remain in their Beacon Hill neighborhood. They also wanted to avoid becoming a burden to loved ones, something we strongly advocate that our clients consider when making their retirement plans. So these Bostonians started what the article calls “a virtual retirement community” to help village “members” handle household chores from shoveling snow to changing lightbulbs to basic transportation and social opportunities.
After a few years of trial and error, the New York Times ran a story on the Beacon Hill “village” and the phenomenon began to take hold. It grew so fast that, by the middle of 2015, a new network called the Village-to-Village Network listed over 200 participating villages, with more being formed. According to a 2012 Rutgers University study, villages average 96 members, with most residents age 65 or older, many of them female.
How does this concept work? Typically villagers pay annual dues (averaging $600 per year) and form a free-standing organization. Most villages hire one or two paid employees who coordinate services, relying on volunteers and fellow villagers. Many villages provide lists of approved local contractors who have agreed to provide home repair services at a discount.
Caring for a rapidly aging population will demand creative housing solutions. The “new village” idea may be one for you to explore, and this article is a good place to begin.
When it comes to making comprehensive plans for your retirement, we have another suggestion for a good place to begin: come to one of our free LifePlanning Seminars. During this entertaining seminar you’ll learn valuable information that will help you with all aspects of your retirement: your housing choices, your medical needs, your legal affairs, your family relationships and your financial arrangements. With a LifePlan in place, you’ll enter your retirement years with greater confidence and peace of mind.
To find out the dates, times and locations of our next scheduled LifePlanning Seminars, click on the Upcoming Events tab on this website. We’ll look forward to meeting you soon.
(Originally reported at https://seniorcareadvice.com)