Category Archives for Retirement Housing

The MAGIC of Minka with Dr. Bill Thomas

At both ends of the age spectrum, there is a growing, and largely untapped, demand for communities designed to foster closer connections, health, and wellbeing. How can we create homes and communities that are inspired by a profound respect for simpler living, energy-conscious building, and human-oriented design?

In this program, you'll…

  • understand what Multi-Generational, Multi-Ability, Inclusive Communities are
  • understand how to live in the place and manner of their choosing
  • be inspired to flip the declinist narrative of aging

Named by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top 10 Americans shaping aging, Dr. Bill Thomas is known worldwide for transforming long-term The Magic of Minka with Dr. Bill Thomascare through The Eden Alternative, The Green House, and Minka models, radical alternatives to institutional care. Thomas designed the nation's first senior ER, now the standard for hospital emergency rooms nationwide. He most recently came off a 125-city Changing Aging Tour that used music and visuals in live performances to promote a new and disrupting understanding of aging.

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“The Company You Keep”: Lifestyle and Housing Decisions

modern-housingHave you begun to think about “what’s next?”  for your “retirement transition” years? What’s most important to you when you think about where to live?  Some people want to “stay put,”  renovating their current home to accomdate changing health needs over time and/or to use the “village model” of sharing services as you age.  Other people want to downsize but stay in the same geographical area. Still others choose a new location based on factors such as climate, activities, closeness to health care facilities and/or being near friends or  family.

If you plan ahead you have the opportunity to think individually about what’s most important to you and then talk with your partner about what you both want and/or talk and explore  options with friends or other family members. In addition, if you know the lifestyle you want you can make better financial decisions. It takes time to work out a plan, so it’s helpful to start early.

But, don’t be dismayed if you haven’t started yet,  it’s not too late to start thinking about these issues. You can expolore possibilities by talking with others, getting accurate information and using the Internet to research ideas. If finances permit you can travel and explore areas you’re considering  or rent in an area ( for a few days or a few months) to see what the area is like on a day to day basis.

The boomer population has many more options for living situations than our parent’s generation, and each choice offers  both possibilities and challenges. Relocating and “starting over” without knowing people can feel daunting.  As Ann Carrns points out in her recent NY Times article, “The Company You Keep,” one of the biggest challenges of relocating after retirment is making new acquaintances.”

To avoid this problem, some people decide to move to be near friends or relatives, or to move with their friends to a new location.  Still others choose to create a “co-housing” situation or to join an already existing community. ”Co-housing” is a community designed so residents can socialize, share services and have some meals together and the “senior co-housing movement” is expanding.  Other people decide that a Continuing Care Retirement Community offers the best option.

What is clear is that there is no “right way. “  We learn from positive psychology that our sense of well-being comes from a sense of connection, community and purpose and meaning thoughout our life.  Each of our situations is unique and no ”one size fits all”.

I recommend Ann Carrns”s NY Times  article, ”The Company You Keep. “ Learn about some of the people she talks about and their choices. I’m quoted in the article and The Couples Retirement Puzzle is mentioned. Copy and paste this link  into your browser. ) to read the article.