Thursday, January 18, 2007

It Takes A Village - At Any Age!

Everyone dreams of living a long, happy, healthy and independent life in their own home. My Mom tipped me off to a group of creative individuals in Boston, Massachusetts who have come up with a brilliant solution that ensures that ideal situation lasts as long as possible. It’s called Beacon Hill Village and they are creating a wonderful model for all of our futures!

The quick summary is if you are age 50 or older living in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, you can join the Village by paying a modest several hundred dollar annual fee. That entitles you to access a wide variety of concierge services through the nonprofit Village. If you need help with transportation, grocery shopping, cooking, plumbing, computer troubleshooting, housecleaning or almost anything else you can imagine, you contact the Village. Some services are free, others are at reduced rates based on the bargaining power of the Village. An added benefit is that all the service providers are carefully screened. Often, when individuals begin to need more assistance they (or their families) are faced with trying to cobble services together on their own, or they feel the need to move to retirement communities or assisted living facilities. This model is a long term solution which allows folks to enjoy living in their own homes, close to friends of all ages and still part of the neighborhood.

Both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab and the American Association of Retired Persons, AARP are looking closely at the Beacon Hill Village and are singing its praises. After only a few years in existence, the Village has created a guide to help other communities build on their model. This can happen in any urban, suburban or even rural area around the world.

Yesterday I posted about the virtual internet based community in the Blogosphere. The Beacon Hill Village is an elder community without walls. Except of course for the comforting and familiar four walls we wish to continue to live happily ever after in. :: Click on both of the links in this post to learn more!

1 comment:

barbie2be said...

what a great idea!