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Aging in Place: Senior Communities in North Carolina

Elderly couple talking to home health aideA recent report in the North Carolina Health News examined the efforts of communities of North Carolina seniors to create a setting that allowed them to age comfortably in place, while reducing the risk of isolation. The types of communities vary from formal co-housing facilities, to less formal communities centered around building relationships with neighbors. However, each form of this phenomenon has one thing in common: they are designed to help seniors age in place. A goal that is becoming a reality with the assistance of community connections and technology such as home care software and home care systems.

Co-Housing Forms Senior Communities in One Place
One North Carolina community featured by North Carolina Health News included Elderberry Co-Housing, a 10-acre community that is open to seniors age 50 and over who want to live and farm on the community plot of land. As part of their agreement to live in co-housing, most major decisions on home changes and division of responsibilities are voted on by committee, creating a hard-wired community for seniors to age in.

Sense of Community in Village Living
Another form of community formation taking place with seniors in North Carolina focused on the organization of seniors. Co-housing isn’t for everyone, as many wish to remain living in their current homes and maintain the independence of not having to run decisions through committee.

This is being done by seniors taking action to form connections with their neighbors. In one North Carolina community (and around the country), “Naturally Occuring Retirement Communities” are being formed in areas where seniors are already living in proximity to one another. By beginning with events as simple as neighborhood potlucks, seniors and neighbors from younger generations are becoming acquainted with one another and, over time, committing to supporting one another as they age.

Forms of support range from assistance with care, to mowing lawns or simply being available over the phone in case of a fall. Through these connections to neighbors, seniors are becoming comfortable with staying in their homes, even when family support may be far away.

How Home Care Can Help
Senior communities, based on reliance on one another, can help seniors remain in their homes as long as possible. However, the assistance of home care agencies utilizing robust home care software or home care systems can also extend the ability of a senior to age in place.

While many seniors find comfort in community living, many long-distance family members also want to keep up on the wellbeing of their senior loved ones. A homecare agency tracking care via a home care software and home care systems, such as ClearCare can offer real-time information via secure web log-ins. Not to mention, home care systems and home care software can be used to track emergency contacts and neighbors that are part of the community system.

While community living isn’t right for every senior, some people are finding that in order to maintain independence as they age, they’ll need to find some neighbors to lean on. The combination of close-knit community support and care agencies utilizing robust technology in home care systems and home care software will allow seniors to live out their golden years according to plan.

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