What are new ideas/models for Care/Housing for us when elderly/ inferm / demented in New Haven ?

Session 1
Leader: Janet Brodie (jbrodie@snet.net)
Particapants: Nate Bixby, Marie Pulito, Terry Halwes, Bob Cat, Dave Taylor, Maria Tupper.

What can we do when we need assisted living when we are older. Will we end up in something that looks like the assisted living places of today that look like a hotel with plastic flowers, or will we end up locked in a nursing home?

Co-housing is an option, where a community of people with some common interests are able to determined amounts of resources, such as a shared nurse, recreation director, or shared cooking. To be able to age at home while combining resources of our community.

Some of us are concerned that we will not be taken care of by our children (note some of us have no children).

The choices from Medicaid will provide us with some tough choices. Someone with alzheimers may have to choose to live at home with a single 24/7 live in assistant (who will need to leave), yet still require the household to be run, or to choose an assisted living facility.

More of us will be Getting Alzheimers, especially in the next 20 or 30 years as the boomers get older. Can we have some different options than the ones we have now?

Do we really want to live in a nursing home, where the rooms have no doors?

Not only do we need to keep ourselves physically and mentally fit, but we are also social creatures, and need community.

When the system steps in, will we get what we want? What if we end up abandoned and die? Can we have any hope for our future? Do we have the inner fortitude to stand up to our future adversities?

Some transition words that were heard were Faith, Plan and Dream. Can we be an agent for a potential Dream?

Why not extend our family (say becoming uncle and nephew) so that we can have a larger group of people that care for us and we care for (reference Native people traditions). We can develop our honoring.

At a time of low resources, how will altheimers be handled? Will the decision making processes be taken out of our hands?

If we are not healthy, will we want to take the resources from other people? The native Americans had the elderly (choose?) to spend their last year outside. How can we choose our own death?

Often needy are considered garbage, and the wages for caring for them are low and getting lower. Needs can bring out the compassion in people which makes a more loving community/society.

We often confuse physical disability with mental disability. When someone is mentally capable, but physically disables, they are often treated as totally incapable. Someone in a nursing home may not be allowed to go out on their own, but will be required by a doctor to have 15 minutes of exercise twice a day. This becomes expensive when there are requirements for an aid to always be present, and prevents the person from getting exercise.

Why not use something like a franchise or non profit support system for Alzheimers or housing issues for elders.

Because people with Alzheimers are extremely in the present, Buddhist caregivers are very understanding and appreciative.

Caring is a good thing that comes out of community. There can be a kind of synchrocity when people are together. Someone by themself will be less likely to cook for themself. Community is a great way for people to look out for one another.

We are concerned about what will happen when resources are reduced. The $ for health car will likely go down. Time banking, community groups, family extending, and a more general caring for one another will be options.

It was good to talk about aging issues, and it should be done more.

Happiness correlates with age, possibly because we are wiser and understand ourselves and our needs better, we become more compassionate to ourselves and we have more patience with ourselves.

Too soon old, too soon late.

There are fears about what will happen to us as we get older (such as the symptoms of ALS), and maybe it will not be so bad.

It is an act of generocity to accept the generocity of others.


Continue with formal or informal communication on aging / death issues (aging is related to death).

Start a study group.


The green house concept: www.ncbcapitalimpact.org
The eden alternative: www.edenalt.org
A new model for Elder Care: www.prospect.org

Dave Taylor

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