Elderly villages, medical alert system allow seniors to age independently

Kevin Magna

November 18, 2010

A new concept is sweeping Michigan and has become so popular that six are set to be opened in the next 18 months – elderly villages, according to The Detroit News.

These communities allow older adults to live independently in their own homes, while sharing tasks of paying for day-to-day errands. Residents combine their earnings to pay for transportation, pets, meal preparation and home maintenance.

Each senior pays around $430 a year, which can be much more affordable than hiring an in-home caretaker or living in an assisted living facility.

"Seniors or people with disabilities feel overwhelmed or they get more fragile," Susan Chapman, director of one village, told the news provider. "With a little assistance, they could stay in their homes, and it strengthens our communities when we keep our seniors in our neighborhoods."

One village will even offer residents a time bank, which allows for the easy exchange of services, from lawn care to home repairs.

Seniors who are living on their own may also want to ensure their safety at home. Installing a medical alert system in a residence can guarantee that one has the ability to instantly send out a personal emergency response message to neighbors or doctors.