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Some 45 families already participate in a "block watch" and telephone tree. We range widely in age (under 2 to over 80), marital status, sexual preference, race, education, and income level: a microcosm of the nation, in fact. We'd like to create a collaborative, supportive elder-friendly environment that will support those of us who want to "age in place" or who can't afford to do otherwise. We hope to become a model for other communities and will be seeking assistance from the local Area Agency on Aging and healthcare senior institute, but we'd like to hear from others who have attempted or accomplished this or similar neighborhood community.

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Congratulations! You are on the right track. Finding way to provide rides to clinic appointments, and do give respite care for a spousal caregiver are two more things you could do. Please contact The Pioneer Network (www.pioneernetwork.net) for guidance. This is where much of today's culture change for elder care began. Keep it up!
Carol
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I have very little knowledge on this but I would say to get educated on what aging on place really means. My sister is fighting me on moving my mom to an independent living situation right now and she thinks aging in place means letting them be in their own homes to save money. From what I understand, aging in place means evaluating the resources and the physical environment and making necessary modifications to accomodate the limitations of the elderly. So, for example, although we have made a lot of accomodations for mom, moved a bed downstair, installed double railings, cleared hallways, put up safety bars and handicapped seats, etc, we are now faced with 4 steps to get in and out and there is no where (the "front yard" is literally 6' x 6') to build a ramp that meets 1:12 incline standards for a wheelchair. My mother is literally jailed inside and could not get out if there was a need to exit without assistance and sometimes, when she has been ill, it takes 2 of us to get her in and out. So my advice would be to evaluate what the design of the homes in your neighborhood will and will not accomodate so that you know the limitations and can advise adult children on the limitations of just how much aging in place a person can do in your neighborhood. My aunt and uncle, however, lived until their death in a community that was newly developed without barriers so it can be succcessful, depends on what you have to work from. If yours is an older neighborhood with differently designed homes, I'd publish something for people to know what was possible to accomplish. Maybe have a contractor who can do evaluations and cost estimates. Just know that sometimes a person has to move to age in place.
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Another resource to tap into is the state assistive technology project. They can tell you about equipment, home modification, loan and financial aid programs, and more. You'll find state listings at http://resnaprojects.org/nattap/scripts/nattapcontacts.pl

Also, I am familiar with a similar program in DC called Capitol Hill Village (http://www.capitolhillvillage.org/?pg=27). You may get some inspiration from what they've done.
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Great. Congratulations. If you'll notice that all over the US, sidewalks are being installed on grasslands, and roads for walkers of all ages.
More suggestions include raised chaise longes around back yards and pools, free walkers and canes in local drug stores, courier services for seniors to and from the pharmacy, grocery stores, library and even malls... There are already servies of this type for church services and clinics.
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Egress issues - for many elderly they need a ramp installed, larger door openings, removal of interior doors, emergency windows installed. Alot of this is small scale individual carpentry projects and as such are perfect for Eagle Scout Service Projects. The projects must be about the community and with an existing organization, like your Agency on Aging, so this can work well. Contact your BSA's district HQ to see which Troops have Life level scouts needing to start their service project.
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Another Idea I would call "Seniors for Seniors" If one high school class of Seniors would take the initiative, responsibility and compation to phone one "Senior" every day at a scheduled time, both would gain a lot from the interaction. It would be local, and the HSS could use mapquest to assign someone close by. If you could not reach that person a quick stop by would be appropriate. This could so easly be done. I know the seniors would love it, and it would give the HSS great insight to the future. Maybe its a lot more complecated than that but it sounds like your great at organizing. I am thrilled to see this posting.. Bless you for your efforts.
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Thanks to all three responders. Your suggestions are very helpful.
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Wheel chair accesability, does not have to be thru the front door, I have a double car garage and a gentel slopped ramp was built at the very back of the garage, and a neighbor built it for cost of materials.. we have pleanty of room for a car and I can pull the car into the garage unload my loved one and easily wheel them up the ramp and into the house.
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