What to do when your adult children say ‘you should move’ (or if you’re the one saying mom, you should move).

So, you want to tell your aging parents they should move. Good luck with that!

Instead, tell them about the Village to Village Network because it takes a village to age in place. http://www.vtvnetwork.org.

Last Saturday the BI Senior and Community Center hosted a well-presented 4-hour community discussion on creating our own village, an infrastructure that incorporates as a non-profit to foster aging in place.

While every village is unique, commonalities usually include a single paid ‘go-to’ person, who can give contact information for community resources, (such as Kitsap Senior Information and Assistance, 1-800-562-6418), but also arrange home-delivered services, set up transportation and appointments, and broker vetted care providers and home maintenance.

Keynote speaker Ken Pyburn from Portland (where there already have nine) pointed out that it can be imprudent to have a volunteer plumber or electrician. But screened providers serving an organized community could provide discounted services in a consolidated area.

Paid professional care is crucial. I don’t want some well-meaning volunteer helping me in my home. And I sure as heck am not going to volunteer to clean a frail elder’s home. In addition to hiring professional caregivers and home help providers, we need to honor and reimburse helpers respectfully.

I recently heard a rant complaining about paying someone $40 to mow a yard. How can someone support a family making $40 per yard mowing? People doing necessary work should make a living wage, as well as benefits such as retirement, sick and vacation.

Prescient Waterfront Park Community Center Manager Sue Barrington has already bought a url for our local ‘village’. Check out the website at http://www.bivillage.org and call the Senior Center at 842-1616 to sign up to receive information about future meetings. The link to videos is also quite useful.

A Village to Village network is an important step towards keeping my boomer cohort out of nursing homes! And the perfect answer to adult children urging their parents to move.

Jeannette Franks, Ph.D., your friendly neighborhood gerontologist

Published by jeannettefranks

Jeannette Franks, PhD, is a passionate gerontologist and for over 20 years has taught ethics, grief and loss, and courses on geriatrics and gerontology for the University of Washington. Franks' most recent book is, To Move or To Stay Put: A Guide for Your Last Decades. Look for it now on the University Bookstore website http://www.bookstore.washington.edu/home/home.taf? It is also available at Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge. Franks previously published a definitive guide to independent and assisted living titled Washington Retirement Options, and often speaks on retirement options, disability issues, end-of-life issues and is an advocate for accessibility. She has a goal of making Bainbridge an elder-friendly community and is available to groups and families to discuss these issues. She served for nine years on the Kitsap County Advisory Council on Aging and Long-term Care. She also has the privilege of working in a small way for the past 15 years with the Suquamish tribal elders.

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