Most people don’t like to think about getting older to the point of significant physical decline. They prefer the “Niagra Falls” scenario: you are doing fine until you drop over the edge. In fact, many of us will reach a point, gradually or suddenly, where daily functions are a challenge, or we can no longer drive to socialize, shop or attend to self-care. It may not be so easy to find someone reliable and personable to move in with you and care for you. Even then, one can feel apart and excluded from the outside world. Perhaps your children or other relatives live far away or have jobs they cannot leave to stay home with you. Sometimes, it is necessary to leave Humboldt County for a safer living situation, leaving long-term friends behind. Recently, we are all having experience with social isolation due to covid-19 and may be sustained by the hope that this will end and we can be social and independent again. With aging and debility there is no such deliverance.
Some of us dream of “aging in community” as opposed to “aging in place.” We want to get established in a vibrant community of older people with a continuum of living arrangements —independent living, assisted living, memory care and advanced nursing care — in one location to permit people to age amongst friends in a supportive community. You can enjoy a rich social life, intellectual stimulation and easily accessible activities while you are still independent, and get help when you need it without having to move. Such life plan communities can offer financial security as well, since you living costs are generally fixed regardless of the level of care you need. There is no such option within 200 miles, but there is a growing movement here to establish Life Plan Humboldt, a new senior life plan community.