In this book, an award-winning journalist tells the story of people devising innovative ways to live as they approach retirement, options that ensure they are surrounded by a circle of friends, family and neighbours. Based on visits and interviews at many communities around the country, Beth Baker weaves a rich tapestry of grassroots alternatives, some of them surprisingly affordable:an affordable mobile home cooperative in small-town Oregona senior artists colony in Los Angelesneighbours helping neighbours in "Villages" or "naturally occurring retirement communities"intentional cohousing communitiesbest friends moving in togethermultigenerational families that balance togetherness and privacyniche communities including such diverse groups as retired postal workers, gays and lesbians and Zen Buddhists.Drawing on new research showing the importance of social support to healthy ageing and the risks associated with loneliness and isolation, the author encourages the reader to plan for a future with strong connections. Baker explores whether individuals in declining health can really stay rooted in their communities through the end of life and concludes by examining the challenge of expanding the home-care workforce and the potential of new technologies like webcams and assistive robots.This book is the recipient of the annual Norman L. and Roselea J. Goldberg Prize for the best project in the area of medicine.
Beth Baker, a long-time freelance writer whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, AARP Bulletin, Washingtonian and Ms. Magazine, is the features editor of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Baker is the author of Old Age in a New Age: The Promise of Transformative Nursing Home, also published by Vanderbilt University Press. She and her husband live in a close-knit community in Takoma Park, Maryland.