Have you and your neighbours already started to help one another with small things, or social activities?
If the answer is yes, then you are off to a good start!
You may already have some trusted neighbours within your building or group of buildings, or within the same block.
Here is a story of a group of seniors who created their own social supports within their building in Kingston, Canada, called the OASIS Model
Why Consider Creating Supports Where You Live?
As we age, we start to need help with the basic things like shopping, cooking, caring for a pet, cleaning, and getting around. We usually also find ourselves more reliant on others to “get stuff done” like changing shower curtains or ceiling lightbulbs, or making nourishing meals. We also can find ourselves alone, or feeling isolated from others more.
So, if you don’t want to move, working with people you trust to create social activities or find practical help, can provide more supports where you live. It also can save us some money!
The first step is to connect with a small group of trusted neighbours (who may be at different life stages), and explore the kinds of help that you would find most beneficial. Look for the common ground, and explore the best ways to organize the help you might need. And, as you discover your needs, you can explore your options with your landlord or property manager.
Some options to explore can be:
• Hire a caterer and plan some meals that you would like to share
• Find or create a common space in the building that you can use on a regular basis for meals, social or other activities
• Organize a group exercise class or yoga in your building
• Set up a regular a social activity – like movie watching, card playing, art class, music or games night, group dog walking
• Find an agency or company to work with, that offers a service (e.g. meal catering) or “hands on care” (e.g. a Personal Support Worker-PSW), to explore cost-effective partnership arrangements for arranging services on site.