It Takes a Village to Keep its Elders

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Editor,

As a resident of Laguna Beach for over 40 years, I was so glad to hear about the survey on senior housing needs (“Survey Assess Housing Needs of Seniors,” July 3 edition).  I am a nurse practitioner specializing in gerontology and have seen so many seniors throughout Orange County needing to leave their community where they have lived for many years because of lack of appropriate housing. In June 2009, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated that 8% of the world’s population is aged 65 and older. It projects that by 2030 this population will reach 12% and 16% by 2050.

The city of Laguna is an ideal community to promote the “village living concept” to allow seniors to age in place. The baby boomer generation seeks retirement options to enhance their lifestyle choices. For many, it is highly desirable to retire in the home where they have resided for decades. Equally important, many wish to remain part of an intergenerational environment while living active, independent, and social lives in a familiar neighborhood.

Within the past few years, villages have emerged within communities around the U.S., attempting to meet these needs. Research about the village living concept is showing that it is a successful form of retirement that enhances choice and dignity for aging citizens.

 

Anne Ellett, Laguna Beach

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