Homesharing has been used by seniors through the ages
as a way of generating income or splitting expenses
while receiving some support with daily living.
Lyndsay Green (2013)

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Pope Francis, just a year from his 80th birthday, is widely admired for his commitment to the poor, the marginalized. Indeed, his recent encyclical On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si’) speaks to all the people of the earth, warning that the impact of climate change hits the poorest first and hardest.

We anticipate that he will emphasize this social justice message during his visit to North America this month.

The Pope invites all the people living on the planet to talk about how we can jointly respond to changes in the ways seasons cross through our earth. See the Discussion Guide to launch discussions at home and in community groups.

Aging in community with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and sharing of resources contributes to a sustainable world for our grandchildren to inherit.

Aging in Community — Homesharing Update

Our Aging Together group hosted a panel on Homesharing in June.  We featured presentation of the Halton HomeShare ToolKit before a lively intergenerational audience. I have updated my Aging in Community Overview to incorporate information from that presentation, including reference to the Lindsay Green book reviewed below.

Resources

An Older Woman’s Plan

Video produced by Anju Joshi at McMaster University about Mary Sinclair, retired nurse and volunteer tutor for gerontology students, about accommodating to loss of mobility years ago and now loss of vision. Advocacy for community services – just a little help makes it possible for Mary to continue living in her own apartment.

Ten minute video presents 10 techniques for getting up after a fall – McIver style. Inspiring message to creatively ‘think outside the box’ to find a way to get up (or get help) in minutes.

Writing Exercise

We are leaving summer behind this month, and moving into autumn.

Think about this seasonal change as a metaphor for moving from middle age into old age.  Write your response as a poem or as a memoir of a specific experience of transition.

Book Review

The Perfect Home for a Long Life:
Choosing the Right Retirement Lifestyle for You.
Lyndsay Green; Toronto: Thomas Allen Publishers, 2013, 234pp.

Where should we live in retirement? How many times will we move? How will we find or build community?

Green addresses these questions in this Canadian guide to decision making about housing in a straightforward, informative style. She illustrates the benefits and challenges for many options, each with case scenarios to highlight special features.

After an overview of relevant individual and societal aging issues, Green begins with a chapter assisting readers to identify what they need in a home for their later years. Topics here include housing which allows us to stay engaged, be near our emotional circle, maintain intergenerational connections, give a sense of community, give easy access to services and activities, give us a sense of beauty and energy, and live green.

Then brief chapters then systematically cover options from home modification to home sharing, sharing space with children or other family, downsizing, cohousing, seniors housing, supportive housing, retirement residences.

Her most interesting section elaborates on lessons learned: chronological age is a poor fortune teller, waiting until something happens means waiting too long, don’t count on this being your last move, the way we move makes a different, children are a wild card, and you may not find what you need.

This book is a useful guide to early and ongoing planning for housing in our old age. Useful information is provided about home sharing and cohousing and important encouragement to take into account our needs for community and belonging. Green’s volume is also useful as a resource for community advocacy for planning to house older adults over the next decades.

See Events for local and international events and writing submission opportunities.

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With this reflection photo from my visit to the University of Helsinki in August,
I bid you adieu.

Ellen