Our busy lives and the daily challenges we face in the current economic climate take up a lot of time and energy. And I suspect that still you’ve each had moments when you’ve wondered, worried and perhaps even begun making some plans about what your life will look like 10 to 20 years from now.
One of the biggest decisions we’ll each make is where we will live. In his blog, Retirement Revised, journalist Mark Miller sites an AARP survey that found that “89 percent of Americans would like to live in their current homes as long as possible – and that number rose to 95 percent when people over age 75 were asked the question.” Although active adult and age-restricted communities are popping up around the country, a survey by Metlife and the National Association of Homebuilders indicates that only three percent of 55-plus households had moved to one as recently as 2007. The reality is that most of us will be living in our current communities.
There’s a new term for this “living at home” option….it’s called “aging in community”. If you were to choose this option, what would it take for you to successfully live in your current home, enjoying your time, engaging in work or leisure pursuits and taking care of the physical maintenance of your home and body?
For many of us, existing resources – including family, friends, neighbors and community services – won’t be adequate to support us when we need help doing what we can no longer do for ourselves. Yet the best choice for our desire to live independently as long as possible may be to stay in our homes. Plus, staying in our homes may represent our best financial option.
In response to older adults’ desires to remain in their homes and communities, grass roots, member-driven, aging in community Villages are developing around the country. There are at least 48 open Villages across the United States, including three in the San Francisco Bay Area; six more are in development. Villages provide the support services people need where they are, taking advantage of existing community resources and involvement of other members in the intentional community.
According to Susan Poor, a founder and board member of San Francisco Village, “It is well documented that healthy aging is not just about medical care. The holistic approach of Villages and other intentional communities includes practical, day-to-day support, as well as social connection, meaningful work and activities, lifelong learning, and a critically needed focus on prevention and wellness through physical and brain fitness, good nutrition, home safety, etc.”
Is this an intriguing lifestyle option you’d like to explore?
If so, the first step is getting clear about your desires related to participating in a virtual Village community. What do you perceive may be the obstacles and challenges you will face in the years ahead having the support you will need? I can help you get clear about what you want and set in motion a plan to explore this possibility. Contact me or call 707-824-8836 for a brief chat to talk over your situation free of charge. You also can find out more about what these intentional communities offer and how you can become involved. Check out the Beacon Hill website.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR EZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Certified Life Coach and Philanthropy Consultant, Mary Radu, guides midlife individuals and couples to discover how to share their unique gifts and be positive change makers. Let Mary and Pathmaker Coaching help you design and execute your unique path, aligning your life with your passions and values. If you’re ready to get moving, check out our Resources or contact Mary to discuss how you can get supported to make a bigger impact 707.824.8836.