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My Generation

Aging in Place

A neighborhood group helps older residents stay in their homes longer

Eighty-nine percent of Americans want to stay as long as possible in their current houses. What’s more, for many older Americans, the prospect of going to a nursing home is a constant fear. But across the country, networks are popping up that allow individuals to stay in their neighborhoods longer.

My Generation’s Carolyn Presutti introduces us to Palisades Village, a community group named for the Washington, D.C., neighborhood that it serves. The nonprofit helps residents 50 and older remain in their homes by providing assistance with household chores and transportation. We meet Betty Hays, an active 96-year-old who continues to live on her own with a little help from her children, grandchildren and other neighborhood "village" volunteers. We also meet Sonia Crow, executive director of Palisades Village, as she confers with visitors from the Midwest who want to establish a similar neighborhood organization in their hometown.
 
“A lot of us, I think, when we began, thought of this as something to help frail, elderly people somehow get by,” says Andrew Mollison, president of Palisades Village. “What we found instead was that the chance to volunteer was, if anything, an even bigger draw than the chance to be helped by a volunteer."


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