Experiencing Elderspirit

My upcoming road trip with friends up to Abingdon, VA to visit Elderspirit inspired me to reminisce about my relationship and respect for what has been accomplished in that small town along the Virginia Creeper Trail.

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Marianne inspired at Elderspirit 2007

The inspiration behind Elderspirit spoke to me very early in my quest for my community.

The attraction of Elderspirit for me came from its Founder, Dene (Geraldine) Peterson. She often said the one of the goals for those in the community was to live there “to a good death” like her family members did. No nursing home but in the caring arms of your “family.” But for me and many like me, family is chosen and deliberate. This is what I mean by building community.

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Flexibility and Red Flags: Trust Your Intuition

“They are not rigid and set in their ways. While they know what they want and think positively about getting what they desire, they remain flexible to what the circumstances require of them. “

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In my book, Your Quest for Home, I discuss the characteristics of a successful leader (quote from page 120). Flexibility is one of those characteristics. I believe that it is a key to success and a part of my consulting as the Grand Nudge and trailblazer on Aging in Community

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Are You Ready to Make a Change? 5 Resources to Get You Started

You’re here because you want to make a change. You may be concerned about your options as you age or about having the right support network in place. It won’t be easy but the rewards are exponential. There is no time like the present to start shaping your future.

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Happy Independence Day

I know we’re all busy with cookouts and fireworks to spend time reading a blog so I just wanted to take some time today to say “Happy 4th of July” for our readers in the United States and wish you all a safe and wonderful holiday.

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Last year, I wrote a little about the merits of having a community potluck to get to know your neighbors. You can read that post here.

Everyone’s been to a potluck party sometime in their lives. You bring a hot dish or a cold salad and add it to the impressive table of handmade food from everyone else attending. You want to try just a little taste of everything but soon your plate is overflowing with potato salad, broccoli casserole and barbecued chicken. These parties can really bring a community together.

What are you doing to celebrate the 4th of July?

Aging in Place or Age in Community? Semantics?

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On this site I often like to make distinctions between certain phrases that I think make a difference in our perception of these concepts. For instance, I really hate the word “Elderly” and I think for good reason. Why does it have to be an adverb? Let’s just stick with “Elder” as a noun or just “older adult”.

In any case, the particular phrasing that I want to talk about today is “Aging in Place” versus “Age in Community.”

When you are done, be sure to check out our 2019 Aging in Community Update as well.

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How Do You Know if Aging in Community is Right for You?

Creating community isn’t just about finding people and moving into a house or a neighborhood. This is an important relationship that will influence everything in your future so you need to make sure that you’re right for it as well.

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We know you’re here at Women for Living in Community because you are interested in alternatives to our culture’s traditional views of housing as we age. But community is not a magic bullet and it isn’t going to be right for everyone. So, how do you know if this is truly right for you?

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Help: The Corner Stone of Community

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In the March AARP issue (Bulletins) there was a great graphic titled Help When You Need It Most, a resource for caregivers and discusses the top concerns caregivers have and also provides resources to help with those concerns.

This list directly relates to Women for Living in Community because each of these concerns is addressed when women spearhead the change in how we think about aging in community because caregivers in our culture are usually women.

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What is Community?

Let’s begin with Community

Community is a dynamic whole that emerges when a group of people:

  • participate in common practices
  • depend upon one another
  • make decisions together
  • identify themselves as part of something larger than the sum of their individual relationships
  • commit themselves for the long term to their own well-being, to each other, and to the group

*Adapted from “Creating Community Anywhere” By Carolyn Shaffer and Kristin Anundsen

This website and the primary subject in my book Your Quest for Home is building community. It has occurred to me that I have not yet provided a definition of community here on the blog. I include this adapted definition of community on Page 63 of the guidebook.

Let’s take a few moments to unpack it.

The original quote from Creating Community Anywhere by Shaffer and Anundsen is as follows:

What is Community?
Community is a dynamic whole that emerges when a group of people:
participate in common practices; depend upon one another; make decisions together; identify themselves as part of something larger than the sum of their individual relationships; and commit themselves for the long term to their own, one another’s, and, the group’s well being.

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Digital Book Launch: Your Quest for Home

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I am pleased to announce you can now read Your Quest for Home on Kindle, iBook, and Nook readers.

The guidebook is meant to be used as a series of exercises to help you better understand what it is you want in community and how to take the steps to make it happen. Offering the book in both digital and paperback formats widens the potential audience and makes it more accessible to more people.

Are you in the Western North Carolina area, business owner and/or organizer of a group dedicated to better living as we age? Schedule your book signing:

Inviting me to discuss Your Quest for Home, the activities, and talk about living in community is a perfect opportunity to engage your target audience. I can present on the subject, teach your group how to work with the Guidebook, and help you start on your own quest to find the community you want to live in. For more description, click here or submit your request now.

Engagements outside of WNC are considered as well but may require additional travel fees.

You see, I believe that finding a community is not only about the building or the methods but also about each of us as individuals. Your Quest for Home is a journey of self-discovery. It can help get you started and stop making excuses.

The book is written in an approachable way and provides a literal guidebook with exercises you can follow along with either in a group or on your own. For example, in chapters 8 and 9 we discuss the fairy tale villains that can stop your quest in its tracks.

You can buy Your Quest for Home in a number of different formats:Kindle, Nook, or iBook and it can be viewed on any tablet or eReader.

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If you are interested in having me speak, contact me through my website or Facebook page.

What are People Saying About “Your Quest for Home?”

Book LaunchI am very proud of my book, which should go without saying. But the author’s own endorsement isn’t generally what convinces new customers to buy a guidebook like mine. I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the things readers were saying on Amazon.

In case you don’t already know, Your Quest for Home is a guidebook designed to help you determine your needs for community living and set you up with the tools to make it happen in your own life. It is intended to make you think not only about the kind of community you want but what makes you a good community member as well.

Here are some of the things people are saying about Your Quest for Home.

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Women For Living in Community