Can you imagine what it must be like to spend your life raising a family in your home, only to reach a point, or an age, where you are suddenly displaced and relocated to a nursing home? All of the memories, tucked away in boxes in basements and attics, with your remaining years relegated to communal bingo sessions and sing alongs? Of course there are times when convalescent care is the only option (depending on numerous circumstances), but for others there is hope that with the right amount of support, the dream of remaining in one’s home is not so far-fetched.
Thanks to a relatively new non-profit (Canopy of Neighbors), which was featured on BRO in 2011, elderly home owners living in the Elmwood Village (hopefully this map will expand) now have access to a Village-to-Village network… the villages in this case are services and organizations that aim to help senior citizens retain their homes for as long as possible.
“We assist seniors by linking them with already existing organizations, by providing services through our core of volunteers, and by making appointments for them with professional vendors of many types- everything from massage therapists, to hair stylists who will come to the home, to organizers, contractors and grocery stores which deliver,” said Judy Fales, Interim Executive Director of Canopy of Neighbors.
The idea of ‘aging in place’ is revolutionary for the United States – a country that has basically adapted to the concept of nursing homes at an incredible pace. In a society where families are just too busy, and where at-home nursing options are too expensive, the ‘logical’ alternative has been to find places where senior services are lumped together in order to then lump the seniors together. I’ve worked in nursing homes, and as I mentioned previously, there are those who require assisted and skilled care. But there are also those who, with just a little bit of help, can get by just fine living in the homes that they have built throughout their lives.
If that means transportation, or food deliveries, home repairs, or a yoga class, or a even having an occasional visit from someone who is able to check in and talk about life… there are plenty of resources (all with background checks) available to those who refuse to go down the same path that countless others have done in the past. Canopy of Neighbors is run by the elderly for the elderly. There are Villages all over the United States and the world today, and the movement is growing. Please watch the video above to learn about the history of this organization.
The stronger that Canopy of Neighbors becomes, the stronger our community becomes.
Please visit Canopy of Neighbors on Thursday, October 10th from 5-7pm for their Open House. The event will take place at their new offices located at 805 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209. RSVP at 716-235-8133 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also see Facebook.