Friday, August 17, 2007

Aging at Home - A Community Bands together to buck Institutional Care

Category: Elder Law

Aging in place. It is no secret that most seniors want to stay in their homes. It is also no secret that long term care today has a bias towards institutional care, and not towards allowing a person the resources need to stay at home. From the New York Times is an uplifting report about communities of seniors banding together to buck the system and enjoy their golden years at home.

A Grass-Roots Effort to Grow Old at Home

On a bluff overlooking the Potomac River, George and Anne Allen, both 82, struggle to remain in their beloved three-story house and neighborhood, despite the frailty, danger and isolation of old age.

George and Anne Allen hope to continue living at their Washington home with help from a community group under development. Mr. Allen has been hobbled since he fractured his spine in a fall down the stairs, and he expects to lose his driver’s license when it comes up for renewal. Mrs. Allen recently broke four ribs getting out of bed. Neither can climb a ladder to change a light bulb or crouch under the kitchen sink to fix a leak. Stores and public transportation are an uncomfortable hike.

So the Allens have banded together with their neighbors, who are equally determined to avoid being forced from their homes by dependence. Along with more than 100 communities nationwide — a dozen of them planned here in Washington and its suburbs — their group is part of a movement to make neighborhoods comfortable places to grow old, both for elderly men and women in need of help and for baby boomers anticipating the future.

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