It Takes a Village: VillagePDX.org Launches Aging-in-Place Village Movement in Portland
Portland,OR, March, 2012 –
A recent AARP survey found the 86% percent of respondents aged 45 and older hope to stay in their current residence as long as possible. However, many seniors are faced with the prospect of having to leave their homes as they age because they lack an adequate system of support to enable them to stay where they are.
A little over a decade ago, residents of the Boston Beacon Hill neighborhood began looking for a way to address this specific problem. And, in 2002, Beacon HillVillage, the first aging-in-place village, was born.
“The Beacon Hill Village founders all wanted to remain at home, even after transportation and household chores became difficult or dangerous, the point at which many older people quit familiar surroundings. They also wanted to avoid dependence on adult children. And they were unwilling to be herded by developers into cookie-cutter senior housing, and told what to do and when to do it by social workers half their age.” –NY Times, February 9, 2009
“We wanted everything you’d find in a retirement community or assisted living—but we wanted these services in our own homes,” explains Susan McWhinney-Morse, 72, the president of Beacon HillVillage, who was one of the 12 residents who helped create it. “We didn’t want to leave the neighborhood we love.” from the AARP Bulletin, “Declaration of Independents”, December 2005
So what exactly is an aging-in-place village? A village is a group of like-minded people in a neighborhood cluster who come together to figure out and develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes. These might include transportation, recreational activities, home repairs, discounted professional and group purchases, health and wellness programs, volunteer opportunities and more, all depending on the needs and interests of the community members who co-create the village. Continue reading