By Ann Lindsay, M.D.
For the last year, a group of Humboldt County residents has been meeting informally to discuss the possibility of establishing a life plan community for seniors here.
Life plan communities offer a continuum of living arrangements — independent living, assisted living, memory care and advanced nursing care — in one location to permit people to age in place.
There is no such option within 200 miles, and Humboldters have been forced to leave their community connections behind and move away in
search of supportive living situations.
Life Plan Humboldt became a nonprofit corporation in January, and held
its first board meeting in late February, electing officers and adopting
The organization’s values include being inclusive, actively engaged in
the broader community, engaging in sustainable practices that improve
our environments, fostering a culture of generosity, and being a good
An initial feasibility study last August confirmed that there is a sufficient population base and potential demand for new services to support a
nonprofit senior life plan community in Humboldt. The initial vision is for
approximately 150 independent residences, a 36-unit assisted living facility, and memory care and advanced nursing care for 36.
Response to the plan has been enthusiastic.
“Life Plan Humboldt is like the answer to a prayer for those of us who
love the beauty of Humboldt County, consider it our home, and do not want
to leave as we grow older simply because supportive housing with universal design is not available,” said Patty Berg, former state assemblymember and part of the Life Plan Humboldt Board of Directors.
Photographer Mark Chaton and his wife agree. They aren’t ready to retire,
but when they are, “we want to live out our days in Humboldt County, our
home for the last 40 years,” he said. “The idea of creating an intentional
community with a chosen family of friends is very appealing.”
The next steps are to secure an option on property for a Life Plan Humboldt facility, conduct fundraising for further planning, and start to solicit social investment funds to move the project ahead.
For more information on Life Plan Humboldt, its organizers and vision
for a living community to help Humboldters age in place closer to home,
go to lifecarehumboldt.org and join the mailing list for updates.