I've followed with great interest the spread of the "Village" concept -- non-profit membership organizations that help seniors stay safe, comfortable, and active in their own homes for as long as possible. A recent AARP survey indicated that 88 percent of seniors want just that -- to age happily in place.
I didn't think I needed the services of the Village in my beloved Palisades. I have a young couple for housemates; my son and daughter live in the area and frequently remind me that they can help; I have an arrangement with a young friend up the street who acts as my chauffeur; I can afford to hire a gardener and other helpers I occasionally need.
A few days ago, I attended a meeting in a neighbor's home where Palisades Village's executive director provided information on their services. I don't need -- yet -- everything that full members receive, but I learned the Village also offers associate memberships that give seniors access to all the social and cultural events -- not the services -- offered to full members.
It was a timely discovery, in light of my advancing Parkinson's. I've cut way back on my driving, now limiting outings to places in the immediate neighborhood -- the shopping center, the entrance to Battery Kemble Park with its wonderful wooded trails, and the scenic street overlooking the Potomac's DC and Virginia palisades where I love to walk. These destinations are only a few minutes by car from my house.
It's terrific to have all these benefits. But I won't be visiting museums and galleries like before, or regularly attending special events that occur around the nation's capital all the time. Now, the Palisades Village can fill that gap and introduce me to more of my neighbors. Having this new option confirms that the Palisades is as close to heaven as I'm likely to get.