Habitat for Humanity Supporting Aging in Place Efforts; Village Movement Growing in Capital District

Habitat for Humanity is highlighting its aging in place efforts in its most recent newsletter  The international organization best known for constructing houses for low income households says that one third of its efforts are now focused on aging in place through its home repair efforts for older persons who want to stay living where they are.  The projects are locally driven and the newsletter says many local chapters of Habitat for Humanity are engaging in these efforts.  There is no national requirement for each chapter to do so.  Contact should be made with the local chapter to learn of their efforts to help older persons remain living in the community through home repair.

Meanwhile, forty persons turned out in the Albany County town of Bethlehem on May 24 for an informational session sponsored by the Albany Guardian Society to discuss the Village Movement.  The Guardian Society is embarking on an effort to create a network of “Villages of the Capital District”to promote the movement that is spreading nationally for aging in place communities.  There are currently several villages formed or forming in the Albany area including a newly formed Bethlehem Neighbors organization. Throughout the Town of Bethlehem which includes the well known communities of Delmar, Slingerlands and Glenmont there is interest among residents to develop aging in place communities such as the villages.

Another new entity is Livingston Village, in the City of Albany which is sponsored by Senior Services of Albany.  It converted an old middle school into  a senior apartment community.   There is another village being developed in the West Hill neighborhood in Albany.

The Capital Area Council of Churches, New York StateWide Senior Action Council and Community Caregivers based in Guilderland are all interested in supporting villages in the region.  Colonie Senior Service Centers is also working on aging in place efforts.

A long established NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) in southwest side of Albany is run by Jewish Family Services and funded by the New York State Office for the Aging.

Community Caregivers currently performs many of the functions of a village in several towns in Albany County.  The organization provides transportation, friendly visits, re-assurance phone calls, chores and educational support meetings.   I am working as a consultant for Community Caregivers and the organization is considering how to it can best support  and be part of the village movement.

Mike Burgess

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I have been a senior advocate for most of my career. I was Executive Director of the New York StateWide Senior Action Council and the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. In 2007-2010 I was the Director of the New York State Office for the Aging

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