Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cost Benefits of Villages

Retirement can be expensive, and your location makes all the difference. For instance, in 2009 the average monthly cost for nursing home care was more than $5,000 dollars. Similarly, the cost for a home health aid for a single person in 2008 was $19 an hour, and assisted living facilities averaged at just over $3000 per month. In Oregon specifically, assisted living communities cost an average of $3,880 per month, and nursing home care can be much more expensive.

Villages offer a more cost-effective retirement option for aging populations. Membership in a Village that can provide a multitude of services to ensure an elderly person’s happy and healthy life is offered at a fraction of these prices. One Village here in Portland, Eastside Village PDX, offers memberships on a yearly basis ranging from $540 for a single person to $780 for a couple.

The cost of Villages in comparison to other aging options, combined with the services they offer and the ability for the aging person to remain in their own home, makes Villages the aging solution of the future.

For more information, visit:

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

How Ageism Affects the Elderly

Discrimination based on age is something that doesn’t get talked about enough. Many people in society have their own prejudices about older people. Examples of these prejudices include having poor memory, not being physically capable, and being bad with technology. Being old does not automatically mean that someone is going to have poor memory, or that they’re going to be physically incapable, yet people still jump to these conclusions. This is bad in two ways: (1) Ageism perpetuates stereotypes about older people that are not true, and (2) ageism negatively affects older people’s mental and physical health by causing things like raised stress levels and a decreased will to live. So how do we stop age discrimination?

Two topics that have already been covered on this blog are Intergenerational Housing and Intergenerational Socialization. Having younger people live and socialize with older adults helps older adults have a happier and healthier life, while also breaking down negative stereotypes that are associated with older people. Villages help older people stay connected with people of all ages in their communities.

For more information on Ageism:

Saturday, November 10, 2018

About Villages Northwest

Mission Statement of Villages Northwest:

"To enable more Pacific NW residents to successfully age in place by
developing and nurturing a network of sustainable, community-based 
villages throughout the region"

As we age over time, some us may find that we are not able to be as independent as we had once been. In the past, a situation like this may have been difficult to deal with and potentially costly. It is a dilemma that many families have likely gone through. One method that has been something of a standard for years which is to simply move into a retirement community when we find that we can no longer fully take care of ourselves. While this option may be valid for some, there may be others who want another option. It is a very natural thing to be concerned about. Fortunately, there is a solution.

Villages Northwest is an organization that provides an alternative for those who want to, as the organization puts it, "age in place" in the comfort of their own homes. They are a collection of different villages in the Pacific NW region of the United States. It was originally a website started by Anne Andler in 2011 which was primarily used used to raise awareness and bring people together in order to make a change. Over the years the organization has blossomed into multiple villages across the Pacific NW. And do not be fooled by their use of the word "village," it should not be confused with a retirement community. "Village" in this case acts as a metaphor and this is described quite nicely on the organization's website: "A "village" is a group of like-minded people in a geographic area who come together to figure out and develop the resources they will need to age comfortably in their own homes."

If we are not elderly now, one day we will be. Instead of going to a retirement community in order to get the resources you need, Villages Northwest will bring those resources and needs to you so that you, and many others, might stay in your own homes longer. These resources are provided by the organization itself and volunteers. What these resources are can be rather varied. These can be access to social or recreational services such as book groups, walks, biking, etc. Volunteers may also help with more serious needs as well like providing transportation to a medical appointment, minor home maintenance/repair, and much more. Even if you are not able to help as a volunteer, Villages Northwest also accepts donations which can easily be given through their website. Truly these metaphorical villages are helping those who want to simply age in place and are on the rise. According to Villages Northwest's website, there are currently 110 villages in the United States and there are 120 currently in development. It seems like there is nowhere to go but up.

 Learn more here:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Keeping Seniors Feeling Young

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The benefits of remaining active are no secret, but how do we make it easier for ourselves and older adults? By finding, or even creating social events such as yoga or meditation classes, aquatic therapy, and even activities to keep our brains active like tabletop games or brain teasers we can make the first steps in the right direction. Part of making this possible is even before getting out of the house or your living space you think of activities that would interest you. Once you have an idea of what you might be interested in you can search for them online or go to your local library, or rec center to check out what is up on the community board. To help you stay active with your selected activity or activities you should try to make routines for healthy eating, how to spend your time and keep a positive mindset. None of these are requirements in trying to get out and be active, but they can encourage you to keep going at it. Some of these could just be goals you set to help guide you towards healthier habits rather than dictate how you go about your day.


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Activities for elderly who decide to age at home

  Image result for Activities for elderly who decide to age at home: yoga classes, book clubs, etc.

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"Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength."
Image result for Activities for elderly who decide to age at home: yoga classes, book clubs, etc. 
-Betty Friedan

    Senior life is a time to catch up on activities you've always wanted to do but didn't have time for. There are many fun activities elderly people can take part in to keep their minds sharp, bodies strong and spirits high. Whether it's spending time outdoors, playing games with family and friends, or spending time working on a favorite hobby, all those activities can benefit the overall well-being of seniors.    Many studies show that no matter if you are a child, an adult, a teenager or a senior, you need to have learning experiences in your lives. Learning something new or advancing something you've already known, will keep your brain active and engaged. To ensure that the brain works as best as it can, the mind needs to be challenged every day. There are many activities that the elderly can do. They can pick and decide which activity is the most exciting for them so they can focus on it. Many others would prefer picking couple activities at a time and having fun at both of them.  

   Among some of the most popular activities are dance classes, yoga, art and music lessons, interactive game clubs, craft, poetry clubs, and etc. Seniors can go out for those activities, but can also arrange them at their homes, if they don't want to go outside as much. Doing various activities at home and inviting people to your place is great, but also finding a good time to go out to a concert, a workshop, a masterclass, outside of home activity is necessary. Going out will help the elderly to still leave an active life rather than just staying at home.
Read more:

Intergenerational Socialization

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Research has shown that older adults experience a drop in life satisfaction when they are only socializing with others their age. Younger generations also see older generations through more negative stereotypes when they don't interact with their elders. Bringing these generations together helps to break down the stereotypes that both seniors and youth have and helps older adults to not feel as stereotyped as "old."

Ways for older adults to get involved with their local youth varies:
Retirement homes and assisted living centers often have programs that non-residents can also take part in, libraries and some coffee shops offer story hour for younger children that may need volunteer readers, you can also head to a public school and inquire about volunteer opportunities, for more ways to get involved see the source site below!


Monday, November 5, 2018

Feedback from Experts and the Elderly: Why Villages are Good

According to an AARP study, 86 percent of senior citizens wish to stay in their homes as long as possible, but are concerned about the burden this could have on the family members responsible for their care.

Many elderly citizens cite aspects such as the work they put into their home and the value they place on their independence as reasons for their hope to stay in their own home as they age. Additionally, Gail Kohn, Director of a Village in Washington, D.C., says that many elderly citizens are driven away from more traditional solutions such as retirement homes due to their wish to “avoid ‘old age ghettos.’”

Given this mentality, it’s no wonder that the Village movement is quickly growing.

Below are quotes taken from those involved in Villages, either through work or because they are a part of one, that illustrate how many feel that Villages are the better solution for our aging population:

“She doesn’t see us as elderly clients who need her help,” says Warner Saunders, 76, about the Executive Director of his Village. “I see Dianne as a friend.”
- AARP, 2011

“I’d call the village the best bargain in town.”
- AARP, 2011 (Warner Saunders, 76)

Roberta Rothman, 76, told Senior Planet in 2017 that Villages are “a little bit like an insurance policy. When and if you’ll need these things, there’s going to be someone there. If I have to stop driving, which would be a very difficult change, I know I could get people to take me to doctors and remain social. As long as one keeps one’s health within reason, I certainly see this as a solution to a lot of needs.”

“Think of a village as a kind of ‘artisanal retirement,’ a modern reinterpretation of an older, more enlightened way of life. And just as there's nothing quite like homegrown tomatoes, there's no replacement for the direct connection with people who live near you."

Jay Walljasper, author of “All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons, a book about how cooperative movements foster a more livable society.” (AARP 2011)

“The thing I most cherish here is that it’s we, the older people, who are creating our own universe.”
- Susan McWhinney-Morse,72, to NY Times, 2009