October 29, 2015

More Seniors Are Forming “Aging in Place” Communities

“Aging in place” initiatives help seniors to remain in their own homes as they age, allowing them to delay or avoid entering long-term care facilities. In some communities, elderly residents themselves are forming “aging in place” or “virtual retirement” communities by establishing nonprofit membership organizations that negotiate and obtain shared services and programs for their members.

Members pay an annual fee to access a range of home-based services, such as transportation, home maintenance and repair, and meals. Some services are included in the membership fee and others are provided by a network of pre-screened providers at a discounted rate.

A recent Citylab article discusses the increase in these communities, noting that they exist in over 40 states. The article highlights Beacon Hill Village in Massachusetts, which was established in 2002 and is generally considered the blueprint for establishing an aging in place community. Beacon Hill Village currently has 350 members that pay $675 per year (or $975 for a couple) to access seven staff members that help them obtain services. Residents with income below the median income can obtain discounted membership rates of $125 per individual and $175 per couple.  

According to the article, Village to Village Network, a national organization that helps create new aging in place communities, expects the number of communities to double in the next two years.

For more information on these communities, see OLR report 2008-R-0322.