Earlier I wrote HERE about my interest in the concept of living in place in which I’m engaged.
I’ve had a related idea I decided to pursue that attracted the interest of others to whom I presented my thoughts earlier this year. Subsequently, I mentioned here I would be sharing further information on the matter in the future.
Meanwhile, some of the questions and thoughts I considered follow, that I think many of us have had or will have sooner or later.
Where do we want to live these later years of life?
When should we begin thinking about how and where we’ll live in these later years? Probably we’ve gradually been accumulating thoughts on the subject for a long time as have I.
Our work, financial status and family or friends are usually the major factors influencing how we formulate our plans. These are matters we each must assess individually.
What sort of living arrangement do we prefer? Many factors will determine if we’ll live with others or on our own.
Our choices can include preferring housing with age limit requirements as for Seniors – usually age 50 or 55 and up. Some classic groupings involve housing in Assisted Living or Retirement Communities, the latter offering multiple levels of care.
Select living settings are sometimes needed by those with any one of a variety of special medical needs, such as those experiencing behavioral problems, some cognitive issues affecting memory in dementia types, especially including Alzheimer’s Disease.
Those are some of the considerations in our decision-making process about our later life living environment.
Another thought crossing my mind is that unlike the early years of our lives some choices we could make might leave us with less opportunity to alter them later, if for some reason we might desire to do so. So, wise consideration of these issues can matter.
Choosing an option characterized with that broad label of Aging in Place usually means living in the community rather than in residential care as described in "The Gerontologist" article HERE. The research discusses this choice
“...is linked to sense of attachment and social connection”
“...is linked to sense of security and familiarity: home as a refuge, community as a resource”
“...is tied to sense of identity, linked to independence and autonomy
The person(s) aging in place may be living in a room, apartment, mobile home, house, with or without friends, family and this may also even include their receiving any care-giving help needed but they must seek these services.
I have preferred to think of this Aging in Place arrangement as Living in Place with the emphasis on a goal of living, even though we are also aging.
That brings me to elaborating on my idea, as I occasionally mentioned it in earlier posts and elsewhere, to an activity I proposed to our local city-coordinated Senior Services. My idea was enthusiastically received, has been developed, expanded upon and implemented beginning this week.
In the collaborative process of creating this offering, what I consider to be a most descriptive name suggested in our group was provided which most precisely describes what participants want.
Not only will be aging in place, with a focus on living, but what we really want is to thrive in the process.
So, our group will be known as and directed toward “Thriving in Place”.
This is the most recent brief summary as it appears in our city’s monthly digital newsletter, "The Clicks", announcing this new program with monthly meeting dates and times.
“Aging can often pose new emotional and technical challenges, especially for those who wish to live independently at home for as long as possible. Join this group of peers as they discuss issues and trends, exchange information and tips, and receive informational presentations about living in place.”
The extent of my involvement I’ve limited to acting as a facilitator as I’ve envisioned this group to be very dynamic – adapting and fluctuating with the needs of participants which may change in the future. The value of the gatherings will be dependent upon the attendees’ involvement and participation which I’ll certainly be encouraging to be strong.
We’ve established through a variety of means, including survey questions, the demographics of initially interested attendees. They will present a variety of differing perspectives including those of some who live alone – also subgroups of those both with and without friends and/or family in the area – with and without support systems. There will be couples physically independent, others less so; some who are caregivers for a spouse/companion and any other possible situation as might be imagined. Some are already committed to the idea of “Thriving in Place” and doing so.
Others want to explore the idea to determine if this or another option would be best for them and discuss what are those other options. Sharing experiences, positive and negative may benefit one another.
We will have multiple sources for presentations for which the group has expressed interest. I have specified wanting others to be responsible for arranging those sessions as I choose to limit my group obligations. I also want the group to be able to thrive without the dependence of my presence.
Offerings examples of some of our resources, in addition to other type living accommodations, there are a number of senior communities, at least three within a half-mile of our meeting center, offering all levels of care which I have served at one time or another when I was working. Other desirable settings are available though at slightly greater distance. Most offer get-acquainted sessions of their own interested individuals are encouraged to attend, often focused on downsizing.
A prominent member of our group is associated with our local non-profit group REAL Connection
that established in our city a decade or so ago. Joining this group which does have a subscription charge can be very beneficial and will be one more resource of value. This organization came into prominence on the east coast years ago based on the Village concept you can read about HERE. There may be a similar group in your area.
I’m very enthusiastic about this free “Thriving in Place” group meeting the needs of some in our community including mine, who want to interact with others choosing this living arrangement. This group does offer a socialization opportunity, too, through this shared living style community.
I know some bloggers I visit here are “Thriving in Place”. Others are living in or have tried some of the options as in Assisted Living with various reactions. Perhaps, some are currently living in retirement communities offering all levels of care. Others, only now, may be considering where they’ll live in their later years.
What choices have you made about where and how you want to live in your aging years, or what options are you considering?
Any thoughts you may have about our “Thriving in Place” community group are also welcome.