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Social Animal
Published: January 26, 2018

Going Back to Frat House Living In Your Old Age Helps You To Age Better

Among the elderly, nursing homes, hospices and country-club retirement community homes aren’t the best of all places to spend their sunset days. But Beacon Hill Village in Boston is rewriting the narrative altogether, and the storyline is nothing short of jaw-dropping. A group of seniors who choose to stay adjacent to each other and strive to make their lives better has led to 190 similar communities springing up across the US.

Joseph F. Coughlin gave the community a visit, and while there, his story about a community creating an adorable aging experience sounds like it’s straight out of a fictional movie. A community of seniors, yet their daily life is reminiscent to happen on vacation, undoubtedly they are enjoying their lives. Impressively, they all relate to each other well, showing love and empathy even without the assistance of a caregiver.

Meet Joan Doucette, a 75-year-old cyclist member of the Beacon Hill Village

Imagine abandoning your regular 9-5, catching up with your ‘gang’ and planning a stimulating, adventurous and event-filled holiday? Sheer fun, right?

What Doucette and her 20+ colleagues are doing is what we all wish to enjoy as soon as possible, and their spirit of togetherness beats any other you’ve heard about before. They are lovely and carefree, regularly meeting for tea and movies, evening dinner at the local restaurants, some booze (exclusively men), chit-chats and adventure trips, on their bikes!

Away from Boston is another heart-melting village, San Francisco Village. Whenever one of their members is sick or needs reassurance after a significant setback, volunteers amongst its members uplift their friend. All the groups, as Coughlin writes, aren’t solely for fun and making memories amid their advanced ages.

They need no outside support

What’s impressive about the mantra within these facilities isn’t how they manage to shower each other with love and priceless warmth alone. Most of their members, especially those yet to attain 80 years, pursue different aspirations, including caregiving, engaging younger generations, organizing cultural fetes and volunteering. It is, perhaps a continuation of what their careers and occupations entailed and some nostalgia!

They accept challenges that threaten their newfound homeliness!

Joanne Cooper, a member of the membership committee at Beacon Hill speaks about the threats that they face and how they manage to pull through. Despite the whole community appearing a lot like a peaceful enclave, members exiting is a norm, either by date or voluntary withdrawal. Lack of funding and visionary leadership also forces similar villages elsewhere to close!

The post is, without a doubt, the best as it restores faith in humanity. This idea isn’t confined to the US alone since Homeshare program in the UK, and Switzerland and Germany’s Wohnen für Hilfe nearly have the same ideals. However, as the trend continues and the elderly enjoy their lives on their own, we, the rest, can’t help, but admire how moving the initiatives are.

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