I don’t necessarily mean location. We all daydream about where we may want to retire. Once we decide on a destination- where do we envision ourselves living? A condo, townhouse, independent living village?
Recently, I listened to a lecture called, “Shift Happens: From Aging In Place To Aging in Community”. Several innovative housing models were presented and I’d like to share them with you.
There re are new types of village concepts that encourage intergenerational living. These are called communities without walls. Community support networks have people creating innovative models of housing. For example, one community may offer people a way of creating their own neighborhood. You may own your home, but build a common area where people can share meals, classes and pass the time. There are “pocket neighborhoods” where homes open out to a courtYard. There is “shared housing” where expenses and other benefits are shared and people have fun. It takes them back to their days of dorm life.
The concept of a “shared economy” may become the “new economic engine of the 21st century.” I laugh when I tell the story of my dad near the end of his extremely long life decided to share the cost of buying a packet of razor blades with a buddy. The fastest growing households today are singles and this puts a strain on the environment, creates alienation, high divorce rate and suicide rate. People naturally have a need to belong and be needed.
The concept of “Care Banking” uses the aging in community model. The Time Banks Institute Project has Care Banks using Time Dollars to provide elder care services. For more information on this concept go to http://www.agingbettertogether.com
One last thought on how to grow older with gusto and great health. Studies show that people who live with consciousness of being – paying more attention to their lives live longer. The more feminine you are, regardless of gender the longer you live!