|Re: Aging in Place||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Sharon Villines (sharonsharonvillines.com)|
|Date: Mon, 10 Aug 2015 08:18:42 -0700 (PDT)|
I think better than a focus on aging is a focus on what community members need _and_ their equal ability to support others. Just because people are aging doesn’t mean they have more needs than anyone else. Or that if they have young children, they can’t help others. The issue is rather that as a society we have traditionally focused on the needs of children and parents. It is only in recent decades that the idea of building public facilities so they can be used by those with different physical abilities and providing equal education for all abilities have become even "familiar.” That some needs are considered to be those of the aging, is in part, just a realization that some people have those needs. Those over 80 may be more likely to have some needs just like those under 10 to have others. But none of those needs are confined to those age groups. And few are evident in everyone in any age group. A team focused on neighborly support—with a catchier name—would be more inclusive, both in considering needs and in considering who could help with those needs. Everyone should have some checkmarks on each side of the ledger. My favorite examples of this are: 1. When we put in an automatic door opener on the front door, it was thought to be for those using wheelchairs. In fact a member who uses a wheel chair donated it to the community. But it is valued much more often by all those temporarily on crutches, pushing strollers, carrying bags, pushing laundry and shopping carts, etc. It is an asset I think we would replace even if we had no residents using wheelchairs. 2. I have often taken babies and toddlers because the parents needed to get something done around the house, like cleaning. In fact when children are around, I find that is the best time to get housecleaning done. But I have much more experience with both tasks and am often much more relaxed with babies and toddlers than first-time parents. So it works for me when it is driving them crazy. To welcome diversity is to recognize it everywhere and to expect support from everywhere. Even a person with an infant in a baby carrier can take in the morning paper to someone with a broken foot or arthritis, or check in to be sure they haven’t dropped something they can’t pick up. I agree that empty nesters and the retired do most of the work in cohousing but I don’t think it should be that way. If we don’t as a culture think about why and why not, it will continue and we will have more and more senior communities. A major point of cohousing was not to separate out various kinds of households. The mainstream housing does that very well. Cohousing has done a wonderful job of creating child friendly condos. It’s time to begin thinking of how the households with children can integrate themselves into support for the rest of the community. And children need to be raised to give back too. It shouldn’t be a surprise when a child notices a need and offers help. (And Katy, our residents often do childcare for others. I do it a lot but others do as well. For children who arrive home before parents. Are home from school because they are “sort of” sick. Be the goto person for an older child at home alone. There is always someone available to hold a baby while someone has to the store or whatever.) Sharon ---- Sharon Villines Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC http://www.takomavillage.org
- Aging in Place Virginia Moreland, January 9 1999
- Re: Aging in Place Fred-List manager, August 11 2015
Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.