Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"Villages" will help people "age in place"

On Monday, July 26, USA Today ran a story (by Haya El Nasser) “’Villages’ let elderly grow old at home: neighborhood networks provide services, support, peace of mind”, on page 3A, with link here

In a number of urban and suburban communities in several states (Colorado, Nebraska, Massachusetts), people have formed “villages” to which residents pay a membership fee from $25 to $600 a year, to receive some in-home services from volunteers and sometimes paid staff.

Julie Maggioncalda, a University of Pennsylvania geriatric social worker intern with the Capital Village in Washington DC, commented on the demographics, and said “we simply don’t have enough space, and if we don’t have a village, the burden will fall on families.”

Strategically, public policy could encourage the housing industry to develop even more “step down” communities where seniors without extended families enter independent living in a modern, secure apartment or condominium, and then have services available later to purchase if they need them. In Sunbelt cities where seniors often move, unsold condos (from the housing bust) could sometimes be converted into such communities, and would probably then sell. Why isn’t that a “win-win”? Sounds like an idea for Donald Trump!

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