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Strategies for Aging in Place: A Roommate

Informal group living is a trend in housing for seniors who don’t want to move to industrial senior care where they may be locked out of the main dining room if they become disabled.  If you don’t believe you could get locked out of the dining room at a nice senior community where you might have paid $600,000 for the privilege of paying more in high monthly rents and fees, check out this post at the New York Times New Old Age blog.

Students at Columbia University School of Journalism explore the option of taking a roommate in this video.

My House, Our Home from Our Future Selves on Vimeo.

Technorati Tags: aging, aging in place, Brave Old World, Columbia School of Journalism, elderly changes, healthy aging, New Old Age, paula span, senior care

Aging Homeowners Benefit from Village Assistance

If you own your home and your son doesn’t rehab old houses, you need a handyman (or woman).  This person must be competent, reliable and trustworthy.  They must have good communication skills and be affordable.  This is an amazingly tall order in today’s world.

But for those of us who live in an aging in place Village neighborhood like Washington Park Cares in Denver, finding honest, trustworthy and competent help around the house is not a problem.  Some of this help comes from the organizations volunteers.  If you have a light bulb you can’t reach or need safety grab bars installed in your bathroom, a volunteer may be available to do it.

Otherwise, the organization carefully vets service providers–like our sprinkler and tree man, Don Chapman, who came the same day last summer when …

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Asking for Help–A Challenge for Caregivers and Elders

A few days ago Bill and I attended a lecture sponsored by our local aging in place Village, Washington Park Cares.  Jennie Creasey from Jewish Family Services in Denver spoke on Reframing Independence as We Age.  We discussed the paradoxical idea that asking for help is a key to maintaining independence.

Many of us, caregivers and elders alike, are strangely reluctant to reach out for the kind of help that the Village volunteers across the country provide, such as rides or help in the garden and around the house. The video below courtesy of the Columbia School of Journalism Brave Old World project points out that those who ask for help are providing a service too by giving helpers an opportunity to enrich their own lives through helping.

I had a chance to experience …

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Caregivers Ponder the Future

We look to our elderly parents to provide us with models of positive aging.  As caregivers, sometimes we feel that they have shown us as much about what to avoid as what to do as we grow older.

Both my mother’s and my father’s last years were difficult for them and for those of us who were close to them.  Mother and Bernie started retirement on a beautiful forested site in the North Carolina piedmont near a quaint historic artist colony.  I think it was an ideal environment for them at the beginning of their retirement years.  They had a lot of plans, but many of them did not work out.  Bernie once told me something like:  You imagine what you’ll do when you retire—maybe can your own fruits and vegetables and heat your …

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New Year 2011–Looking Ahead to the Future of Family Caregiving

Welcome To Elderland

What will life be like for elders and their caregivers in 25 years?  In this delightful animated cartoon developed for the News21 program by Columbia University School of Journalism recent graduate Nushin Rashidian and Shane Snow, animator, we are carried forward to the year 2035 and introduced to the world of 75 year old Elderman as he goes through his day.

We first discovered Elderman last summer when our friend Paula Span of the NY Times New Old Age Blog suggested we log on to the Brave Old World project website.  Paula, who also teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism, is Executive Editor of the project.  What a discovery!  I was very impressed by the sensitivity and professional quality of all the various interviews and reports to be found on …

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