How Thriving Seniors Are Saying Goodbye to Isolation and Hello to Aging in Community

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"Many middle-income Baby Boomers are rethinking how they will spend their golden years. Most watched as their parents stayed in their home with the help of caregivers before transitioning to a nursing home later in life.

The social isolation of seniors who remain in their homes is frightening and unhealthy. An incredible 43 percent of seniors ages 65 and older report regularly feeling lonely. Research shows that social isolation can lead to problems with anxiety, blood pressure, a weakened immune system, and cognitive decline.

Below are ways that seniors can help avoid the dangers of isolation.

House Sharing

As Baby Boomers struggle with rising prices and stagnant wages, they seek new alternatives for senior living. Among the latest trends is the example of house sharing. Not only does this provide companionship, but it also helps with living expenses. What"s more, seniors are also more likely to feel safe with another person in the home.

Finding the right roommate is important for a successful partnership. Develop a contract with an exit clause in case either of the roommates wants out. Issues of privacy and ownership, which are common problems with roommates of all ages, can lead to stressful living arrangements. By having the contract in place, you"ll be better prepared if the arrangement doesn"t work.

Village to Village Network

Another model taking shape in the world of senior living is the Village to Village Network. This membership-based network connects volunteers with isolated seniors. The volunteers assist with such needs as transportation and home repair.

Described by researchers as a promising new model, the Village to Village Network positively impacts seniors by reducing their isolation while remaining at home. Run by paid staff and volunteers, this grass-roots movement is gaining momentum among Baby Boomers seeking alternative options for their senior years."

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