During IAHSA’s Conference in London last month, I was struck by the many conversations people were having about what they want for themselves as they got older and needed care.   As demonstrated by these conversations and the education sessions, it is widely recognized that the trend is to try to keep people at home for as long as they like through the development of community-based services and use of appropriate technologies, such as remote monitors.

In the US a new type of  ‘community care’  has been evolving over the past 20 years or so.    Even though these programs are called by a number of different names, such as villages, intentional communities, virtual retirement community or self-help community, they all seem to revolve around one basic principle – the willingness of people to come together to organize and provide services to their neighbors.   Many are run totally by volunteers, some have paid staff and all give participants a sense of community and doing good.

As reported by Howard Gleckman in Kiplinger’s Retirement Report, these types of communities are invaluable for those needing some level of assistance.   The challenge in the future is to figure out how, given low membership dues, they can provide care for the very frail.