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Finding Community as a Senior

By March 1, 2019June 11th, 2020No Comments

Village For The Elderly

It’s a warm and bright harvest time evening in Chicago. Music is playing, food is being grilled and served to dozens of seniors as they relax and talk. 

Despite the relaxed feel of this evening’s gathering, it isn’t without purpose. Thompson is the volunteer director of Age-Friendly Englewood village, an association that provides low-salary adults on the city’s South Side with jobs and volunteer work and she’s looking to expand her reach. “We have flyers, we’re going to hand out on entryways, getting the message out, getting everyone included,” says Thompson with her typical eagerness.

Englewood Town has been around since 2015. Despite its recent opening, its foundations span back 17 years and the distance to Boston, where Susan McWhinney-Morse and her companions were looking for a way to reach out to individuals in need. Following two or three years of strenuous work, they delivered the idea presently known as the Englewood town. It’s an enrollment run association that gives access to services like transportation, help with family tasks, even addressing troubles like technical difficulties, alongside classes and social exercises.

The most essential element of the planning process was input from residents in Englewood age 60 or older. This was accomplished through both online and paper surveys offered to nearly 400 random elderly residents and focus groups, brainstorming sessions and interviews were a key part of structuring this program. The quantity of towns across the nation has developed from one in Boston to 230 with another 130 being developed. A free program has been established to help the development and extension of these towns, known as the Town to Town System.

Up until this point, the lion’s share of town individuals was the white-collar class or wealthier, as indicated by research from The Inside for the Propelled Investigation of Maturing Administrations at the College of California, Berkeley. The Englewood Town gives underprivileged, underserved elderly individuals an opportunity to grow, develop social connections and feel happier.

As Susan McWhinney-Morse put it, “a grass-roots village development with respect to more seasoned individuals who did not have any desire to be disparaged, disconnected, [or] infantilized.”

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