Transforming a Neighborhood Into a Retirement Community

Some people find the idea of moving to another home once they retire attractive, but the majority would prefer to keep living in their familiar neighborhood among people they have come to know. If you and a number of your neighbors are approaching retirement, then you may be able to convert your area into a retirement village, obviating the need to move to assisted living or retirement communities.

Isolation Leads to Unpalatable Decisions

Aging is a daunting prospect for anyone, no matter what their financial or social circumstance. Many retirees find themselves almost forced into moving out of beloved homes that they have spent decades in, especially if they are single or have no family living close by. The reason most seniors give for moving out is that they will be unable to perform the daily errands required to maintain their household.

Growing old implies a loss of independence, and this engenders a resistance to asking for help. No one wants to burden younger family members and friends with responsibility for their daily existence. An attractive option would be to hire someone to perform all these necessary errands for you. Someone who can take you to the doctor or hospital, who buys your groceries, performs simple household repairs, and assists you in bank transactions.

Unfortunately not everyone can afford to hire a personal assistant. But consider another option, one that several communities across the United States have adopted. What if you could create an infrastructure that pools the resources of a group of retirees and hire an assistant to cater to all their needs?

Facing the Challenges Together

Communities such as Beacon Hill Village in Boston have shown the way. By pooling the energies of a group of resourceful individuals, they have created a model for transforming a neighborhood into a perfect place to grow old in. The creation of such an environment is not a haphazard affair, and should be sustainable to ensure continuing support for member as long as they need it.

The initial step is to create a core group or board of directors. Someone must be responsible for running the organization and overseeing day to day activities. Creating this foundation is not really as difficult as it seems, but it is important to get the correct information about how to start. The first steps should be getting information on how this was done in other areas, and asking about local governmental regulations which may help or hinder your efforts.

The financial aspect of the organization must be solid if it is to last. The most basic funding will of course come from membership fees. If you are starting from a small group, then you will need to identify service providers in the area that you can partner with. Marketing will be important in order to attract more members and encourage more commercial partners. Locating additional funding, from both private and government entities may also be an option.

Keeping the Family Together

Of key importance to this process is the network of relationships that it builds on. A burden for one can be lighter if shared among many. Volunteer assistance from younger family or neighbors should be encouraged, but foundation should never be completely dependent on them. Retirement communities home grown from neighborhoods are no longer an impossible dream, with the proper planning and management, you can stay in the place you love without sacrificing your dignity or security.