It takes a village,

    How can a community best support aging in place and why should we? The why is easy: few people want to spend the last year of their life in a nursing home. Not only that, but as the boomers age, the economy won’t be able to support a huge increase in the long-term care population, whether publicly funded or private pay. The costs are gigantic.

   According to the 2010 US Census, those in the age group of 85 to 94 are the fastest growing age group in the US. That age group is the most likely to need long-term care.

   Several concepts can maximize options for aging in place. One is the village concept. Check out . If you are on or near Bainbridge Island, you might want to look at . Portland, Oregon has 9 villages; Seattle has 3.

   Another aspect of aging well and aging in place is understanding ageism. Don’t miss Ashton Applewhite in Seattle Sept. 18. 2016, at Cornish Playhouse in Seattle. I can hardly wait to get my copy of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.

   Negative attitudes and stereotypes about aging and older people are a huge barrier. Even older people themselves sometimes assume that they will decline dramatically both physically and mentally. While we do experience challenges in old age, exercise, engagement, and education can mitigate the changes. Don’t let negative assumptions become self-fulfilling prophecies!


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 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.

One thought on “It takes a village,

  1. Dear Dr. Franks, I just received your book, “to Move or to Stay”. I promptly sat down and read it cover to cover. All the information is so appreciated. I still have one remaining question, and am try g to resolve it – pros and cons, projecting what it would look like – flipping a coin. I’ve always lived near my daughter, right now we share a property. My son-in-law is my easiest child. A blessing. We are going to put the property on the market this spring. It’s in Durango, Colorado. I lost my dear husband in 2003. The question is where to go. They are going to Phoenix for many reasons. I’m not a desert person, just seems like a big box of cat litter.
    I have narrowed it down to two options. Stay here, I do have a good friend base, or move to Bainbridge Island. I have not lived there but am so drawn to the water,
    mountains in the distance, island living, small town and ferry to the city and all it has to offer. I had just started to write this to you and was so surprised to see that its where you live. I have few questions and, if it wouldn’t be to much of an imposition, would you help fill in a few answers. Is the community friendly. Is the
    weather really gray most of the time? I think I would like a condominium, or one of the pocket communities, as being alone there would be people around. I
    travel a lot. I am going to come there and spend two weeks in early April, just to experience the area, which sounds very mature, but actually I’m jumping up and down I’m so excited. Any advice you would share will be so appreciated. Thank you, Kris


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