Saturday, July 11, 2009

Old but Not Alone

Our friends worry about us. What are you going to do when you get old? Who’s going to take care of you?

Most us have some canned answers to these questions, usually staring with “With the money we’ve saved by not having kids, we can…

...afford in-home care” or

…stay at the Marriott Residence assisted living place” or

…buy some long-term health care insurance.”

Or stay at a Green House. I first heard about this new model of residential eldercare when my friend Linda gave me a copy of an article titled “Where to Live as We Age” written by Susan Fine for Parade magazine.

A Green House is the brainchild of geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas who, with the help of a foundation and a non-profit organization, piloted this new type of residential living for the elderly. The Green House near Albany, NY shelters 12 “elders” and a multi-tasking staff who cook, clean, dispense medication, or organize activities such as dances and Nintendo Wii games.

The residents say the best thing about this model is the homey feel and intimacy and the fact that they can choose their meal times and live with their pets.

Sounds like a great place to be when it comes time…

Flickr Photo by Adwriter



Cave-Woman said...


I found your blog looking for information on how to plan health care for aging, child-free couples.

Honestly, the green housing idea is the only one I've seen on the internet that was remotely helpful.

Are you aware of any book/articles/ other resources that I should look at to plan our health care options?

My husband and I are very happy with our child-free choice---but recently having lost my mother due to a prolonged illness--it occurs to me how awful her last months would have been if family had not been involved. Her nursing home was great---but the additional care of family made a big difference in her day in/day-out comfort because we knew how to interpret her needs.

Truth be told, I'm a little scared to find out what the future would hold for myself aging, without family to rely on.

Any resources you can think of would be helpful.

Thank you!

nari swan said...

Thanks for the info, because after having to care for my aging, sick mother, I want to make sure I never do that to anyone else. This is one area where I believe parent(s) with children can be selfish, if we want to spread the selfish label around fairly. Assuming your kids will care for you in your later years is an awful thing to do to them. Even if I had kids, I'd still plan to take care of myself/husband in my golden years.

Laura Scott said...

Cave-Woman--I like the communal living/green model too. I also think it's also very important to have a will and living will that a assigns a trusted health-care proxy. This person doesn't have to a blood relative.
I wish there were more resources I could recommend. If anyone knows of a resource of this type, please comment here and give us a suggestion or link.