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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Local communities discuss aging in place

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When we plan for retirement, we think about our finances, our health care and where we want to spend our retirement years.  This last factor is more important than we might think.  Is the community where you plan to spend your "golden years" ready to help its residents age in place? 

Two local communities recently held events focused on just that. 

The City of Montgomery held a forum on May 3 to discuss the challenges and opportunities for older residents to age in place. Guest speakers included the Montgomery Fire Department, Council on Aging (COA) and Montgomery Chamber of Commerce (which represents area businesses with services related to aging in place).  COA’s VP of Communications, Laurie Petrie, spoke about local community-based services and supports that help people reimain indendpent in their homes and communities. 

In April, Madeira held a town hall meeting for older residents.  Madeira's Senior Commission, formed in 2008, organized the event. The commission provided an overview of their work and spent time listening to residents about their future needs and concerns.  Town hall participants were split into groups to discuss a variety of topics, including factors that would force them to move from Madeira, and gaps in programming and services created by the recent closure of the Sycamore Senior Center. Over 70 participants spoke out on these questions, giving the commission a road map for future planning. Read more about event in the Community Press.

More about Madeira Senior Commission…
The Madeira Senior Commission serves as an advisory group to city council. The commission works to improve the quality of life for older residents by providing timely information, planning for future needs and exploring housing alternatives.

The commission recently started a speaker series offering education on a variety of topics vital to aging, including frauds and scams, brain health and Social Security. In addition, the commission has advocated for affordable senior housing, making a recommendation to the Madeira Planning Committee to seek developments that enable residents to age in place.

COA staff member and Madeira resident, Amy Leonhardt, serves on the commission.

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