Thursday, August 30, 2007

Moving to Home - Let's start with two words

Several news items caught my attention today:

  1. The Canadian government announced a $700 million dollar investment in developing a nation-wide "Aging at Home" strategy: "aging at home is much less costly than long-term care and helps preserve a senior's dignity," says Health Minister George Smitherman.

  2. A news story out of San Antonio that describes a new senior living community that "breaks the mold of the institutional and moves to the residential," says Carlos Moreno, an architect at Marmon Mok LLP, who is designing the community. In addition to being designed like a traditional small apartment, the doors are wide enough to accommodate walkers and wheelchairs, the outlets are higher and all the units are fully wired for computers. The community also offers courses and programs for the community at large, bridging the gap between a senior residence and the rest of the community. Administrator Steve Fuller comments, "They [residents] want to stay connected with the broader community."

  3. Then there's Aging Maven who titled her blog "The Great Diaspora: Moving Seniors" and shared how, at one location in her city condo developer were courting seniors while at another neighbors were protesting a new assisted living project..."You’d think we were talking about sex offenders."

What's going on here is a discussion about "home" and what that means - a discussion that will only intensify as more and more of us become seniors.

I won't want to live in a big house by myself, counting the minutes until my mailman comes by (he'll be the only other human I'll see all day).

I'll want to find a vibrant community of people I can share meals with, take a walk with, discuss the news with. Maybe I'll forget to pick up my mail for days at a time since I'll be so busy!

And how on earth can we meaningfully - and economically - provide the same services to people in their homes - spread out all over a city - as we can to those living in close proximity?

Here are two words for today: choice and community. What I will want may be quite different from what you will want. What both of us will need, however, to support us into our elder years, is a community.

1 comment:

  1. My name is Kathy, and I am the primary caregiver for my 79 year old Dad who has Alzheimer's disease and lives with me in North Carolina.

    I am writing a daily blog that shows the lighter side of caring for someone with dementia.

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