Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Aging In Place Focus Groups

We held another focus group today. This one was with residents of senior housing. We got similar results to the other two groups we've held. Folks want to stay in their current homes. They want to stay in Darien. But they need help. They need access to information about transportation, health, and ways to be engaged in the community.

I'll post more later.

Friday, November 24, 2006

More Research

We've done more research with older residents of Darien, CT. It's amazing to me to meet these people who've lived in our town for 30 - 40 or more years. To a person, they all want to stay in their homes. They will do anything they have to do to stay in their homes as they age. To move to assisted living or a nursing home would be "downgrading". (And I suspect -- degrading)

They are hungry for information and for help. But they don't want to ask for help and feel guilty accepting it. How do we overcome this connundrum? I think the easy answer is that we need to make paid services available. We need to aggregate information about the services and make it readily available in many forms and forums.

Further qualitative and quantitative research will help. More to come next week.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Doing Research & Starting a Handyman Corps

I'm now on a town-wide committee to investigate how to help people who want to stay in their homes to do just that. So I'm wearing two hats -- one for our church's faith-based initiative and one for our secular, nonprofit community effort.

In the community effort, we're going to do some local research to see what the 65+ town populuation wants and needs. We'll start with qualitative research and then quanitfy our findings. I feel we should do something similar at church.

In the mean time, I've gathered a group of men who are willing to do handyman type chores at older church members' homes -- changing a light bulb, taking down screens and putting up storm windows, tightening a doorknob or setting up email. We set up our handyman corps because we kept hearing that doing simple things like changing light bulbs gets harder with age. Now, we just need to get the older people to ask for the help they need.

This is a slow process. But we will make progress.