Aging in Place

If you ask most adults where they’d like to live as they grow older, most everyone says that they want to age in their own homes or in their local neighborhoods. It makes sense. People want to feel comfortable and live near familiar streets, parks, stores, and, of course, to neighbors and friends. But, it’s also a fact of aging that many older adults face financial stresses living on fixed incomes and most likely will also to need to adapt their living spaces to increase accessibility. The Library recently explored different housing options to support aging in place with programs on virtual villages, homesharing, and universal design. We have recordings of the programs here.

Start with local gerontologist Jeannette Frank’s To Move or Stay Put:  A Guide for Your Last Decades as a quick introduction to housing choices. She argues that the most important consideration for quality of life is to match the right person to the right place. While it could include a retirement community, it  could also include cruising in a recreational vehicle! Beth Barker’s With a Little Help from our Friends: Creating Community as We Grow Older looks at a wide range of options – co-housing, virtual villages, intergenerational homes, homesharing and NORCs (naturally occurring retirement communities). The village movement is nationwide with over 200 open virtual villages and over 100 in development. In Seattle, we have four villages: NEST, Northwest Neighbors Network, PNA Village and Wider Horizons Village. The heart of the village movement is to create community through volunteer assistance and social opportunities. For Vivek Murthy, the Surgeon General under Barack Obama, community is absolutely essential in countering our epidemic of loneliness. In Together:  The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World, Murthy writes movingly about the impacts of loneliness on our emotional, mental and physical health –  for adults of all ages. Continue reading “Aging in Place”

Life with an Aging Parent, Part 2 – Online Resources

Whether you are an older person or someone with an older person in your life, here are a few of the many informative, helpful and readily available free Library online resources to consider trying out.  Many provide full-text article access.  I’ve heard my elderly father talk about price shopping, his health and wanting to read more local news so I used those topics.

It’s smart to comparison shop, whether it’s for a microwave or a used car. The Consumer Reports online resource has product reviews, ratings and comparisons to make better buying decisions and save money.  One can look at Product Reviews by category and easily click to review information on hearing aids, vacuum cleaners, car repair estimates, and many other consumables and other products big and small.  The Latest News category has articles like Privacy Fix: Search and Destroy Old Email Accounts (June 4, 2019).  Under the Take Action category there are several up-to-date articles about avoiding hidden fees for cable TV, banks and airlines. Continue reading “Life with an Aging Parent, Part 2 – Online Resources”

Life with an Aging Parent: Part 1 – Books

The first known use of the phrase “eldercare” was in 1960 and is defined as “the care of older adults and especially the care of an older parent by a son or daughter.” This has been becoming part of my world more in the last few years with my father, since other immediate family members have passed away and both my sister and I live in different parts of the country from him.  He’s in his late 80s and really thrives on living independently. Continue reading “Life with an Aging Parent: Part 1 – Books”