Local governments in Australia often seek new ways to assist their residents with their housing, with older residents in particular often a target for such assistance. New ideas and models are called for if local governments are to make a contribution to the housing affordability problem. The information below outlines a new solution to this challenge.
The concept of ‘senior villages’ has been growing in popularity across the United States for the past 15 years. These villages offer a strong sense of community that is often missing in conventional retirement villages or even established suburbs. There are more than 200 of these community based villages established in the United States with more in development. Some have been set up in Canada, the Netherlands and Australia. This innovation is welcome given the ever-increasing demand for affordable housing amongst older Australians. Here are some quotes from a blog (see link below) which discusses the American experience with senior villages:
“Aging in place is a really great concept, but it can be isolating. If you don’t have children or other family living near you having someone to check in on you, or bring your groceries once a week, or make sure you’re getting out of the house and participating in things, can be an important piece of this.”
“Local governments are providing more support as they realize the importance of senior villages. City support is only in a few areas so far, including San Francisco, but we’re really hoping this trend will continue. Two counties, Montgomery County in Maryland and Fairfax County in Virginia both have either a part-time or full-time staff person that’s the village liaison to provide information for villages that are starting and provide additional support and funding for operating villages.”
Closer to home, but also related to the needs of older people, is the ARC Linkage Project – The rise of the consumer: engagement of older people with Consumer Directed Care. The project’s website can be found here.