How to avoid social isolation as you age? Isolation is one of the key issues that we face as we age. Women more than men will be in this predicament as women tend to outlive their male partners. Are you are rattling around in that big house on your own? Have you thought about where you will be able to live now that you have reached the third half of your life?
Our needs change over time. Just like our interests, our family engagement, our physical activities and our energy levels all change. Nothing ever stays the same. With this in mind, an assessment of our current living arrangements is advisable. It is always better to be prepared than to be forced to move into unfamiliar surroundings in our old age. My mum found it traumatic to move in her 80’s after Dad passed away.
Ending up on our own, loneliness and social isolation is something we all fear, especially in our senior years. Families are on the move and may end up interstate or overseas. If you do live in the same town as your family it does not guarantee that you will see them every day. As we age we become less active and need to be able to access services and community close to our home.
There is a trend to consider our living arrangements in advance. There are more choices out there now than the traditional retirement village models. Some people are very adventurous and like to think outside the box, just as six friends decided to do as they were approaching retirement age. Eight years later they, The Shedders, as they are collectively called could not be happier with their choice to live together in retirement.
Living in an apartment or condominium complex is popular as seniors do not want the responsibility of maintaining the large house and garden. Another choice out there is living in co-housing. This concept originated in Denmark. Co-housing is about building an intentional community and establishing a collaborative colony of supportive friends. There are various models of co-housing. I spoke to Lew Bowers, the founding member of the PDX Commons Seniors Co-housing project in Portland, Oregon.
Lew and his wife were keen to avoid this problem of social isolation as they aged. Four years in the making listen to the episode and hear how Lew’s idea of creating a Senior Co-housing community in his hometown came to fruition. Learn how to avoid social isolation as you age by forming a collaborative community of supportive friends..
Until next time.