The Elephant in the Room

[Editor’s notes: this is a repost from Ann Zabaldo’s blog on MidAtlantic Cohousing]; join Ann Zabaldo and Janice Blanchard at the Aging Better Together conference.]

Do you know that

** 90% of the care given to elders is given by family members?

but … almost 25% of the population retiring now at age 65 are “elder orphans”? They are either widowed, divorced, or single-never-married. They have no children and no siblings.

** the current cost of nursing home care can easily exceed $100,000 per year?

yet, fewer than 30% of those retiring have even $50,000 in savings or income beyond Social Security? What’s happening with the other 60%+?

** 70% of us will need 1-3 years of health care assistance?

and … we’re all living longer and longer lives?

** How will we care for seniors and how will we pay for it?

Medicare does not pay for long term care. The only nationally publicly supported long-term care available to people is Medicaid for which you have to qualify based on income.

For those of you whose plan it is to simply “go on Medicaid” … think again. You’re in a very long line of people who think this is a solution. It is NOT.

Given the statistics, the demographics, the expense of our health care and the way our health care is delivered, the middle class will be sliding en masse into Medicaid fracturing the already slim supports of the Medicaid program.

This is the Elephant in the Room: no where in the U.S., in no program, is anyone dealing with how to keep the middle class from sliding into Medicaid and poverty.

Big Elephant.

Big Solution Needed.

We have one.

Mid Atlantic Cohousing is sponsoring a year long Aging in Community Collaboratory* designed to guide cohousers in devising a customized program for their respective community that will allow seniors to age in place right in their cohousing neighborhood.

Led by Janice Blanchard, a nationally known expert on Aging in Community (she coined the phrase with Bill Thomas. She literally wrote the book “Aging in Community”!) we are going to “crack the nut” of what it takes for cohousing to become a national model for aging in place in community.

Why cohousing?

** We’re already an intentional community.

** We already have the social capital in place.

** Our ability to organize for collective good is normal.

** We’re grassroots — we don’t need an agency to lead us.

** We routinely take our skills into the larger community.

** We already care about each other.

** Cohousing communities are connected through a national cohousing network: CohoUS

** We’re already focused on the issue as we see our members age first hand. We’re experiencing the dilemma in real time.

What can YOU do?

Download the flyer on the first ever AIC Collaboratory. Contact Ann Zabaldo, 202.546.4654 or email: zabaldo@earthlink.net

Attend the three sessions being presented by Janice and Ann at the upcoming Aging Better Together conference in Salt Lake City May, 20-21, 2016. Haven’t quite made up your mind to attend this conference? Make it easy. Attend. It will be transformational for you, your community whether forming or completed, for all of us everywhere who are seniors and those of us likely to become seniors cohousing or not.

* Collaboratory: an inclusive learning environment where action learning and action research meet. Participants continue to acquire subject knowledge outside the collaboratory – both through experimental application and developing channels (such as online or blended learning). The collaboratory’s primary aim is to foster collective creativity to address complex issues.

Janice Blanchard is an Aging in Community expert residing in Denver, CO

Contact Janice BlanchardEmail: janicecsa@comcast.net

Category: Seniors

Tags: Aging, Conference, Past events, Senior

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