02-19-2017  10:56 am      •     

According to a 2011 AARP study, nearly 90 percent of people over age 65 want to live in their homes as they age.

But, health issues, the loss of mobility and the need for help with home maintenance can threaten that independence.

Throughout the Portland area, there are seven virtual retirement villages in development that will enable people to age in their own homes with the help of an online network.

The Skanner News spoke with Patt Opdyke and Margaret Baldwin who are creating villages in the Portland area. Opdyke spearheads the North Star Village which serves neighborhoods in North Portland, the city of Linnton, Forest Park and Sauvie Island. Baldwin organizes the Northeast Village PDX, which covers neighborhoods north of the Banfield expressway, from the Concordia neighborhood to 122nd avenue.

They said older people will need help with “honey-do” tasks such as flipping mattresses or climbing ladders to change light bulbs or clean gutters.

“It's those little tasks that, if a person can't do them, life can become difficult. But if you have someone doing them, then you can remain living independently very comfortably,” Opdyke said.

The village movement was created so seniors could have access to help without giving up their independence by living in a nursing facility. In a virtual retirement village, services are brought to the elderly in their homes. Villages are networks that connect seniors with community resources, home health care agencies and volunteers.

Baldwin said this model is more efficient and cost effective because it connects seniors only to services they need instead of paying for full retirement care.

“It’s a much less expensive option than going to a retirement community where all of these services would be available, but it is very expensive,” Baldwin said. The Genworth Financial company estimates the median price of assisted living care in Oregon to be $46,560 per year.

The first virtual retirement village was started in 2002 in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. Since then, over 150 more villages have established themselves and there are 120 more in development worldwide.

Each village is a grassroots effort; the structure is based on the needs of the communities it serves. The villages in North and Northeast Portland are planning to have a network of social service and home health care agencies, strategic partnerships with neighborhood organizations and social and cultural activities.

There are also plans for a vetted vendor program that reviews and approves licensed contractors who perform home maintenance. Opdyke and Baldwin said it is important to verify services so seniors can feel safe opening their doors without being scammed or sold unnecessary upgrades.

Both Baldwin and Opdyke said that transportation was the biggest need for seniors who want to remain living in their homes. Some villages hire drivers, others rely on volunteers.

Opdyke said the social membership is one of the most important parts of the village. In other communities there are potlucks, social events, book clubs and exercise groups. She believes having a community keeps people feeling engaged.

“People build this tight-knit group and people feel like they belong, they feel like there is still something to wake up to in the morning to look forward to,” Opdyke said. “That is just as powerful if not more powerful than probably anything else that we could provide.”

Most villages are yearly membership organizations. The developing villages are still figuring out their due. Opdyke and Baldwin are looking at Eastside Village in Southeast Portland which is launching next month.

Eastside Village charges $500 for a single person or $740 for a couple each year. There is also a reduced charge for people who want only a social membership.

Baldwin said the biggest challenge in developing the village is marketing. She wants to reach people who are older than 65 years old who may not be using the internet. It is a challenge to describe a virtual village when most people think of a brick and mortar building, she said.

 She also wants to be able to reach the diverse racial and ethnic groups in Northeast Portland, so their needs are included in the growing community.

A large appeal of aging in place is the idea that both the younger generations and older generations benefit from living in a multi-generational neighborhood.

“I think that we oldsters have something to offer our neighborhoods, I think that by us staying in our neighborhoods, on our blocks, and shopping at our local stores -- we have something to offer here, we bring something to this whole fabric of our society,” Opdyke said.


For more information on the Northeast Village PDX email nevillagepdx@gmail.com or call 503-895-2750.

For more information on the North Star Village email northstarvillage@comcast.net or call 503-978-0540.

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
    Read More
  • FDR executive order sent 120,000 Japanese immigrants and citizens into camps
    Read More
  • Pruitt's nomination was strongly opposed by environmental groups and hundreds of former EPA employees
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all