September 23, 2016 – Aging in Community: Exploring Options with OLLI

Our series with OLLI (Osher Life Long Learning Institute)

September 23, 2016: Aging in Community: Exploring Options

Dates: September 23 – November 11, 2016 (8 Week Series, Fridays 9am – 11am)
Location: OLLI (Olli Life Long Learning Institute) at UNC-Asheville
Click Here to Download Course Outline | Register at: OllieAsheville

Marianne Kilkenny will be Session 1 Speaker, September 23 – Starting Where You Are
Assess your personal needs, goals and resources as you age and explore an overview of options.

My class will help kick-start your thoughts to create a plan for your future. How do you envision community as you age? Where are the people you already count on located? What kind of action plan can you create starting in the next three months? Six Months? We will also look at your home now and how it might change as the years go by.

A New Community Tribe: The First NotMom Summit

Months ago I was asked to participate in an event that would be the first of its kind. You never know what to expect in these situations but my participation made sense. This was the first ever conference for women without children. The idea was to bring together women who made the choice to not have children as well as those who did want kids but over time and circumstance find themselves without them.

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The first-ever NotMom Summit took place in Cleveland, Ohio on October 9th and 10th.

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Community or Place: A Look at Our Needs Vs. Our Wants

To build from my last post, which looked at the importance of connection as we age, I wanted to expand more on the key elements of successful “Aging in Place” and how the principles for building a community provide the alternative many are seeking.

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Community vs. Place: Why It Matters

Let’s take a closer look at aging in community and what makes it a different, and in many cases preferred, from aging in place.

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In Spring of 2015 I opened my mailbox to find the newest edition of Communities Magazine. In it was a fantastic article by Margaret Critchlow called “Senior Cohousing in Canada: How Baby Boomers Can Build Social Portfolios for Aging Well.” Since this is right in my own wheelhouse I quickly devoured the article.

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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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A New Beginning: A Dream Becomes Reality

My Vision of Community

This is Part 2 of My Journey. In Part 1 of My Journey, I wrote about my recent move to a mini-pocket neighborhood – essentially developing a group of shared homes.  (PS. Sometimes we leave out the most obvious details – as if you can read my mind… I still live in Asheville, NC) I also wrote that it signaled not only an important change in my life but also for Women for Living in Community. To read Part 1, click here.

My Journey: A New Chapter for WLIC (June 5th)

For the past few years I have focused much of my attention on the education and awareness of issues surrounding living in community and aging.  I have worked hard to build and promote Women for Living in Community as a resource to families and individuals (men and women) who are seeking alternatives to aging in community for themselves and their families.

I am now beginning a new chapter, a chapter focused on the building and development of a community model for aging in community.  A community not focused on the physical structure with amenities (like nursing homes and retirement homes) but creating a community designation that can be adaptable to where you live, whether you live in a single family home, mobile home community or a NORC (naturally occurring retirement community), live in shared housing or any combination of newly emerging models like the tiny-house community.

The fundamental problem with the way we view aging today is the focus upon the physical needs which tend to place focus on the physical models of living such as retirement communities. These are designed and built solely for the purpose of aging adults and their healthcare but not built for their welfare. These models fail to place focus on the “living aging” and it is this kind of thinking that scares most of us.  We wish to change that focus and in doing so, change lives and how we “age” in community as an active, living, vibrant part of life.

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Group Visioning About Community

In the next chapter of my life, I hope to make connections and partnerships with people, professionals and groups that want to join me as we develop this new community model designation that focuses on the welfare of individuals,  families and the surrounding area.  This is a model that can be implemented right where people live now, not forcing them to move to some “center”.  There will be much more on this.  This is a dream that because of Women for Living in Community network, supporters, and people like you, can now be realized.  Look out for Bettyz Playz.

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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Communities Magazine: Spring 2015 Community for Baby Boomers

Communities magazineI was pleasantly surprised when I opened my mailbox earlier this month to see the spring issue of Communities Magazine with the title “Communities for Baby Boomers” emblazoned across the cover. Since the 1970s, Communities Magazine has been the go-to publication for intentional communities of all types, and since boomers were the catalyst for the communal living movement of the 60s it is no surprise that we are also the leaders of the new initiative to create communities as we age.

The magazine has a number of great articles that would be of interest to anyone looking to develop community.

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No One-Size-Fits-All Community Model

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I was just looking back on some posts I had written about a year ago and this one stood out to me specifically to remind you about again. Please take a look! Alternative Living Solutions: Tiny Homes, Pocket Neighborhoods, and More!

I thought about it quite a bit because so many people look at the Golden Girls-style household and think that is what we mean by community living as we age. And while that is a more than viable option, there are so many more. Your choice of community should reflect your personality, your desires, your hobbies, and your interests.

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