Housing

Boomer and Senior Housing, Aging in Place Technology, Senior Theatre

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Housing and Caregiving Updates

Just in time for the holidays. . .Five resources for parents and spouses with dementia and Alzheimer’s, then an interview about boomer and senior housing.

  1. The Alzheimer’s Association. Besides a Caregivers Center with educational resources, updates about the disease, a blog, and support groups, there’s a 24-hour helpline (TK), message boards to fit your situation and an online tool called the Alzheimer’s Navigator. It’s a five-minute survey that asks you questions about your specific situation, offers feedback on your answers, and helps you craft a customized action plan. The coolest part: it gives you resources in your local community.
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Cohousing and Caregiving Go Hand in Hand

Remember when neighborhoods were like caring villages? I never had that experience, but got more than a hint when I visited Camelot Cohousing in Berlin, Mass., a couple of weeks ago.

I went to do a housing story and found a family caregiving story!

It also brought home the point that there are many ways to grow old and have support. Whether you’re a boomer or in your 70s and beyond, it’s an interesting option.

First, the cohousing concept: People own (a few rent) a small, often attached, home with an inviting front porch. Houses are next to, as well as face, one another across a walkway. Roads and cars are banished to the perimeter of the property so there is daily pedestrian interaction with innumerable everyday opportunities to get to know one another. This regular, impromptu communication fosters deep friendships.

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A Hot Housing Trend: Be Ready

Do you know what “aging in place” means? In layman terms, it’s growing old at home (rather than assisted living or a nursing home). Pay attention! It’s a concept that you will hear repeatedly as America’s 50+ population grays and baby boomers’ parents–and boomers themselves–need to think about next steps.

Ten thousand Americans a day are turning 65. In 2010, the population of folks 75+ was 18.8 million; by 2030, it will be 33.3 million.Add these figures to AARP research that shows more than 80% of people want to stay home as they get older.

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Where Will Baby Boomers Live?

WHEN CHARLENE DICALOGERO LIVED ALONE in an apartment in Watertown, she knew none of her neighbors. “I felt lonely and isolated,” says the 53-year-old, a grants administrator at Lesley University. But since buying a $230,000, 700-square-foot home at Camelot CoHousing in Berlin four years ago, DiCalogero couldn’t be lonely if she tried.

Camelot is an enclave of 34 compact homes with welcoming front porches that sit clustered together in this rural town, about a half-hour drive northeast of Worcester. The road and parking areas are off to the side, while pedestrian walkways wind among the houses. The development is engineered to encourage relationships with neighbors — and it seems to be working.

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Is Home Sharing for You?

At the online service Let’s Share Housing, based in Portland, Ore., which provides a list of people who want to live in shared housing and homeowners who want to share, 80 percent of the clients are boomer women. Fifty-five percent of the women enrolled at the Vermont-based in-person matching service Home Share Now are over age 50. Online interest in the program has doubled since 2007 — likely due, in part, to many more people who have never been married enrolling.

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Is Multigenerational Living A Good Move?

Multigenerational living is a popular trend that helps everyone: kids: adult children; and their aging parents. Find out how it works and about its appeal

The Ng family from Hawaii

 

“It used to be older people whose money had run out who were living with their children, and now it’s the next generation that can’t keep up,” says Louis Tenenbaum, a founder of the Aging in Place Institute, which promotes “multigen” remodeling.

True, multigenerational families bunking together is hardly news in certain cultures. In 2009, 9.4 percent of Asian households, 9.5 percent of African American ones and 10.3 percent of Latino homes were multigenerational (compared with 3.7 percent of non-Hispanic white households).

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Gardens as Medicine: 5 Things You Need to Know

courtesy of Massachusetts General Hospital

Want to feel better? Think nature. Healing gardens are a growing trend. Many major medical centers, including the 6,300-square-foot rooftop garden at the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, part of the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and the NIH Clinical Center, and long-term care facilities, are adding them. And so are homeowners.

The basic elements of a healing or therapeutic garden include:

  • Plants and wildlife
  • Walkways
  • Private sitting areas
  • Shade
  • A water feature

Most are outdoors. Some have raised planters so patients and family members can plant, weed, and work the garden. Sometimes they have medicinal herbs, such as primrose or foxglove.

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Three Ways to Make Your Town Dementia-Friendly

I always knew I lived in a cool, progressive place, but Brookline, Mass, the closest town to Boston, just went up another notch for me.

It not only attracts an international community (world-class hospitals and brainy universities everywhere), but now has the distinction of being the first dementia-friendly community in the country.

The initiative “It Takes A Village” finds ways for those with dementia and their caregivers to enjoy cultural offerings around town, include other residents who want to attend, change people’s attitudes towardAlzheimer’s, and trigger memories of long ago.

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3 Ways to Make Your Town Dementia-Friendly

I always knew I lived in a cool, progressive place, but Brookline, Mass, the closest town to Boston, just went up another notch for me.

It not only attracts an international community (world-class hospitals and brainy universities everywhere), but now has the distinction of being the first dementia-friendly community in the country.

The initiative “It Takes A Village” finds ways for those with dementia and their caregivers to enjoy cultural offerings around town, include other residents who want to attend, change people’s attitudes toward Alzheimer’s, and trigger memories of long ago.

Posted in Housing

Boomers Welcome New Housing + Technology

AARP Bulletin photo

Ever heard of intergenerational cohousing? Does “niche community” ring a bell?

Boomers exploring what’s-next-optiions for themselves or their parents will want to know about two more: pocket neighborhoods and granny pods.

Check out my AARP Bulletin story on pocket neighborhoods.

The idea is to get to live in a place where there is a sense of community. Run the other way, loners!

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Take a look at all the great caregiving technology on the market. Do you know of others?

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What Are The Top Three Age-Friendly Cities?

Happy 65th birthday, 78 million boomers! Just 20 more years until you’re 85! And what of it?

Today, Philadelphia has the highest proportion of people age 60+, with more than half minority or foreign-born. And, New York City’s older population is going to soar by almost 50% in the next 25 years. AARP research shows that 89% of older Americans want to stay put.

Cities like Philly and NYC are scrambling to find ways to make it easier for older Americansto age in their communities (the lingo is “age in place”). This means good public transportation when driving no longer works, plenty of walking routes, access to parks and stores, and opportunities to participate in the community.

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Latest Boomer Trends In Housing

So great to research alternatives to being alone and lonely in later life. Lots of fun options, from cohousing to niche communities to university-type living. A nudist community for older foks is in the planning stages. I pass! Have gotten lots of interest in this AARP Bulletin piece:

http://www.sallyabrahms.com/articles/detail.asp?content=86&category=3

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Married But Living Apart?

It’s a phenomenon, not just a media headline. More older, long-married couples live in separate digs, cities, states during the week, rendez-vous on (some) weekends. Not so dreamy, but driven by economics. I interviewed happily-married-but-living-solo folks and experts for AARP Bulletin.

http://www.aarp.org/relationships/friends-family/info-07-2011/married-but-living-apart.print.html

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Homeless No More

My latest article for AARP Bulletin covers homeless veterans not only given a second chance, but a new home! The response has been overwhelming. Veterans and social service folks have been contacting me to vent and find resources.

Click here to read: http://www.aarp.org/home-garden/housing/info-07-2011/homeless-vets.html

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