It’s where she raised her own kids. And it’s where she now works to help older adults who want to stay in their homes and neighborhood as they age.
Gallaway, 83, wants to stay here, too.
Eight years ago, Gallaway’s son sent her a
“He said, ‘I think this would be good for
There are now more than 120 villages in
Villages are only one of many alternative models that are allowing older adults to age in place. But as our population continues to grow older at a faster clip, people are looking at those and other person-centered, home-based programs and services as the future of aging.
It takes a village
It took four years of planning, but Gallaway and her fellow organizers secured nonprofit status, put together a board of directors, raised money and launched the
Such support from community leaders and others is imperative to the survival of villages; Gallaway said they cannot survive on memberships alone.
It takes a lot of work to establish a village, Gallaway said, and organizers commonly face challenges in building membership, such as lack of awareness.
“So often you’ll say, ‘Do you know about
Pride and a desire to remain independent also can get in the way sometimes when older adults need help, but Gallaway said a village makes asking easier. “One of the beauties of this organization is that people feel freer to ask for help because they’re paying — even if they’re only paying a small amount. But it’s different from having to depend on somebody,” she said.
The organization tries to encourage family members to buy memberships for their older loved ones as an extra support, and it offers sponsorship opportunities to cover memberships for older adults who can’t afford the dues.
“Even if somebody has an excellent network of people around them to support them … family members get busy, too,” Lauer said.
“I think that’s true,” Gallaway added. “We do have members whose children are out of town … and we’ve heard from many of them how helpful it is, and how safe they feel and how comforting that their parents are getting that extra care.”
The village doesn’t offer health care services, but it can refer members to all sorts of providers, in addition to vetted commercial vendors, such as contractors. “The idea with the village resources is to have a ‘one stop’ number, and you can call us and if we do not have the number, we will try to get it for you,” Gallaway said.
Lauer knows that even when older adults want to age in place, it’s not always possible, and the village often acts as an extra set of eyes and ears to ensure members remain safe in their homes, she said. Transportation and socialization are two of the most important pieces in helping them do so.
“(Socialization) is one of the things that people want more than anything — especially people who live alone,” Gallaway said. “They just get very, very lonely, and then if you can’t drive, there’s that whole problem of isolation that causes health problems.”
A lot of older adults living in a community could benefit from less formal caregiving, such as the “neighborly services” that village models offer, said
But they don’t always work in every community, he said. The partnership, a regional coalition that includes
“We really feel like we don’t want to lose the emphasis on … addressing the issue of social isolation,” Angelelli said. “Our worry is that there’s a lot of emphasis on alternatives to traditional nursing homes and keeping people out of congregational settings, but we don’t want it to be a situation where it’s ‘out of sight, out of mind’ and there are people going without services or supports in the community.”
Nearly half of people age 75 and older in
The first is similar to
The partnership also wants to “produce creative, high-visibility expressions of age- and disability-inclusiveness,” which Angelelli said will include theatrical performances and programs offered in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Playful Collaborative and others. The unconventional goal was inspired by
Delphia said that
And Angelelli is optimistic that big things are on the horizon. Long-anticipated demographic shifts are speeding up because of baby boomers, the health care system is looking for ways to save money, and the state has a new governor and new opportunities for change, he noted.
“We have our work cut out for us, but I think … the silos feel like they’re starting to come down a little bit as far as the traditional aging world, and the rest of the community,” he said.
“We’re really looking at focusing on care for the seniors who are still living in their own homes but struggling to stay there,” she said.
Specific programs and changes will depend on the goals of Gov.-elect
But the state ranks only 42nd in the percentage of funding that goes to those community-based services compared with services provided in facilities such as nursing homes, according to the
Sullivan said the age-friendly communities and alternative models also will receive more attention.
“I think all these ideas like the villages and other new ideas about ways for seniors to support and help each other … that is still where the future of senior care is going,” she said, noting other models such as
Next year, the Office on Aging also will be working on fulfilling a new requirement that all staff members who perform client assessments be professionally certified, Sullivan said.
In line with the efforts to help older adults live well at home, the Center at the Mall plans to focus next year on issues of social isolation and depression, Director
Currently, the senior community center, which is located in the
The center is not just for older, retired adults, Morelli stressed. By engaging the younger members now, she hopes it will ensure they have interesting programming in place and have established new social circles to support them when they do reach retirement age.
“I think it’s important that they have the opportunity to see what the center has to offer,” Morelli said. “Retirement can be a little frightening. You’re used to working for years and years, and then all of a sudden you wake up and don’t have anything to do.”
Using a state grant of more than
Nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities in
In November, the
“Overall, the residents today in society want to remain active and well,” Fenoglietto said, “and they want to remain in their homes as long as possible.”
(c)2014 Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.)
Visit the Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pa.) at www.timesonline.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC