Do your neighbours already socialize or help one another with small things?
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 living within the same block.
Here is a story of a group of seniors who created their own social supports within their apartment 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 sometimes.
So, if you don’t want to move, but you need a bit more help, you can start by planning shared activities or help within your building or neighborhood. This approach can save us some money too!
Some options to explore can be:
• Hire a caterer and plan some meals with others in a shared space
• Find or create a common space in the building that you can use on a regular basis for meals, social or a library or book club
• 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 community agency or service provider organization to collaborate with in providing meal catering, or “hands on care” (e.g. a Personal Support Worker-PSW). You can explore more cost-effective arrangements for arranging services on site.
The first step is to connect with a small group of trusted neighbours (who may be at different ages or life stages), and explore the kinds of help that you would find most beneficial. Look for the common ground, and then determine the best way to organize the help you might need. And, as you discover your needs, you can discuss ideas with your landlord, condo board, or property manager.