Finding Communities That Connect and Nurture the Like-Minded

Photo Credit Katherine Taylor for The New York Times

Dorothy Adelman, 99, lives at Lasell Village, a retirement community run by Lasell College in Newton, Mass. She takes various courses and teaches a weekly art class. (Photo by Katherine Taylor for The New York Times)

By Abby Ellin
The New York Times— December 26, 2014

Jon Allen lived most of his life very much out of the closet. He didn’t want to go back in when he grew older.

“Baby boomers won’t want to move into typical ‘old folks homes,’ no matter how nice they look.”

“After you live in Key West for 20 years, you’re out comfortably every minute of every day,” said Mr. Allen, 72. “The fear is not that you’re going to move into a place that’s homophobic but that at some point you might become fairly helpless and that you’ll come across some random odd caregiver who makes it his or her purpose in life to make you miserable or to let you know you’re a sinner or whatever.”

So in May, he packed up his belongings and moved into a three-bedroom apartment at Fountaingrove Lodge, a continuing-care retirement community in Santa Rosa, Calif., in the heart of wine country.

Read the full article here

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Retirees Turn to Virtual Villages for Mutual Support

Some members of the Capital City Village watching a movie in Austin.  Photo: Ilana Panich-Linsman for The New York Times

By Constance Gustke
The New York TimesNovember 28, 2014

RICK CLOUD, 68, knew that he wanted to stay in his home in Austin, Tex., as he aged. But Mr. Cloud, who is divorced, was not sure how he could do that without relying on his two daughters.

Then he ran across the idea of virtual retirement villages, whose members pay a yearly fee to gain access to resources and social connections that help them age in place. Sold on the concept, Mr. Cloud joined with some friends to start Capital City Village four years ago.

“Our virtual village can connect me with people my own age so I can do more things,” said Mr. Cloud, a retired technology consultant. “I worry about being single and getting older.”

Now, Mr. Cloud has all the support he needs. He can tap into Capital City Village’s network of more than 100 service companies referred by members. Dozens of volunteers will walk his dog or do yard work. When he wants to meet people, Mr. Cloud can attend house concerts in a member’s home, go to happy hour at the local Mexican restaurant or hear a champion storyteller give a talk. He has also made over 40 village friends.

Read the full article here

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The Dutch Village Where Everyone Has Dementia

The town of Hogeway, outside Amsterdam, is a Truman Show-style nursing home.

Gabriel Rocha | Flickr

Gabriel Rocha | Flickr

By Josh Planosov
The Atlantic—November 14, 2014

When Yvonne van Amerongen received a phone call from her mother two decades ago, relaying that her father had died of a heart attack—sudden and painless—one of the first things she thought was, Thank God he never had to be in a nursing home.

Van Amerongen was working as a staff member at a traditional Dutch nursing home at the time, getting a front-line view of what she never wanted for her parents. That call from her mother spurred Yvonne into action as she became committed to making nursing homes more livable and less of a departure from reality for their residents. She envisioned a setup as far away as possible from the nondescript buildings and polished floors of her workplace, where everything carried the scent of a dentist’s medical cabinet. Over the next 20 years, she worked to secure the funding she’d need to make the idea a reality.

There are homes resembling the 1950s, 1970s, and 2000s, accurate down to the tablecloths.

Today, the isolated village of Hogewey lies on the outskirts of Amsterdam in the small town of Wheesp. Dubbed “Dementia Village” by CNN, Hogewey is a cutting-edge elderly-care facility—roughly the size of 10 football fields—where residents are given the chance to live seemingly normal lives. With only 152 inhabitants, it’s run like a more benevolent version of The Truman Show, if The Truman Show were about dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Like most small villages, it has its own town square, theater, garden, and post office. Unlike typical villages, however, this one has cameras monitoring residents every hour of every day, caretakers posing in street clothes, and only one door in and out-of-town, all part of a security system designed to keep the community safe. Friends and family are encouraged to visit. Some come every day. Last year, CNN reported that residents at Hogewey require fewer medications, eat better, live longer, and appear more joyful than those in standard elderly-care facilities.

Read the full article here

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Find Us On Facebook

PNA Village on Facebook screenshot

PNA Village is now on Facebook! Find us here:

Our Facebook page is a great way to share Village news with your friends, family, and neighbors…your “Likes” and shares will help spread the word about our PNA Village!

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June’s Classic Music

Deutzia spp.| ©2014 HouseofHank.meAll are welcome at our Village classical music get-together on Wednesday, June 25 at 7pm − Please feel free to bring a friend, bring a CD, or just bring yourself and your musical interest!

RSVP to Dick Gillett at 206.789.1354 or email Light refreshments will be provided.

Wednesday, June 25
7—9 pm
The Gillett residence (just a few blocks from the PNA towards Green Lake—call 206.789.1354 or email Dick at for the street address)

We look forward to seeing you on the 25th!

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Classical Music Fans, Unite!

Carmina Burana (München, 1959) via Wikipedia

By Dick Gillett

Like many in the Seattle area, I listen to our local, classical music station King FM 98.1. Often on my way to coffee on Phinney Ridge, I find myself waving my arms, “conducting” behind the steering wheel (look out!) and wishing others were in my company sharing in the musical moment.

Chanson "Belle bonne, sage" by Baude Cordier via WikipediaLast week, after enjoying our Village’s second anniversary party I thought, why don’t we Village classical music fans get together? Perhaps once per month we could meet at a host’s home, where we could bring a favorite musical passage on CD and share together both the music and our thoughts…and get acquainted in the process! Together we might wave our arms at Brahms’ violin concerto, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony, or listen more quietly to Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Of course, all would be welcome to join in regardless of whether one has particular pieces of music to share.

Does this idea sound appealing to you?  If there’s enough interest for a first meeting from Village members and volunteers we could figure out together how and where to best make it happen. Please reply to me at dgillseattle(at)yahoo(dot)com or give me a call at 206.789.1354.

I look forward to hearing from you and exploring the world of classical music together!

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Beliefs About Asking For Help logoThe following post (one of two) has been reblogged here with the kind permission of Personal Safety NetsContributors Judy Pigott and Ben Kaufman are founder and managing director, respectively, of Personal Safety Nets, a local organization that helps people prepare for life’s changes and challenges through education, modeling, and support.

For more information, visit:

Your Belief About Asking for Help

Let’s start out this edition with you taking a minute to think about one of your core beliefs. Ask yourself, how do you feel about seeking help from another? Do you ask? Be very honest with yourself! Do you believe that seeking help undermines your independence and conflicts with your ability to be in charge of your own life, or do you believe we are social beings who need to “ask” in order to cooperate with one another and ensure we grow and thrive?

There seem to be strong opposing views held by those who hold fast to maintaining personal independence (“I don’t need help/never ask”) and those who support gaining independence through interdependence (“Asking is good”). The first group often sees taking help from others as a weaknessIt’s a learned and ingrained pattern of thinking that may be hard to overcome. Research shows that the second group, those who support interdependence, are more likely to see asking as strength. Still there can be discomfort with actually how to increase ease with asking.

At PSN, our goals include helping people understand the benefits of asking for help, and offering methods of being better prepared and able to undertake the task of asking for help. Too many of us run away from asking for help because it feels too difficult.

In this issue let’s focus on the idea that seeking help is a sign of weakness. If you’re in this camp, we’re definitely out to change your mind! We want to help you overcome this belief and allow you to develop a healthier sense of interdependence with those around you.

Dig deep; consider exactly why – the reasons – you think asking for help is a sign of weakness. Do you feel that you’re totally independent and don’t need any help? Do you see any person offering you help as doubting your ability to remain independent? Are you frightened of rejection or have a tendency for perfectionism? Do you feel vulnerable when you have to seek help? Have you been let down in the past and have sworn never to let that happen again? Do you worry that needing help serves as a sign of a lack of professionalism? Do you think that friends and family will see you as weak or inferior if you ask for help?

People who tell us they don’t want to ask for help often use these as reasons. Their beliefs are reinforced in three ways; FIRST by movies, books and even games in which a hero gains the highest glory if he or she faces “impossible” problems and magically overcomes them on his or her own.

But most heroes have helpers, supporters and others, unacknowledged behind the scenes. Their success often depends on a lot of plain luck. These “helpers” may not be obvious but they are there, and a good hero benefits greatly from the assistance, advice and input of others. The first step is to stop comparing yourself with such unrealistic portrayals of heroes.

SECOND: a common tendency is to think you “should” be able to cope alone and manage without help. This tendency to use ” I should” presents a very unrealistic standard. Are you building an invisible barrier around yourself that wards off the potential for new relationships and friendships? Are you taking the opportunity to learn about the value of give and take, and the compassionate cycle of love, care, and generosity for all?

THIRD: the idea of your own expertise. Being trained in one field of expertise does not provide you with immunity from continuing to seek help from others within that same field or from other sources. You will be all the better for asking for help from others.


We’ll follow up next month with specific tips to make asking just a bit easier and more natural – a skill that need attention and practice. (If you’d like to go deeper, join us on March 29 and April 5 at Freedom Church: a 2-part series. Details when you register with us by calling 206-659-0665).

January 2014 Newsletter:

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Happy New Year: Instant Book Delivery Available!

By Marguerite Langlois

Keep Calm and Browse Inside

You’ve probably seen the news about Amazon wanting to use drones to deliver books (or other orders) to customers’ homes within a half-hour. And you heard what the weather did to some holiday gift deliveries. Well, we had to share this with you: we know how you can get instant book delivery! That’s right…the minute you request the book. It’s a strange but amazing institution called…your local bookstore!

Of course, you do have to go there. But that just means that you get added physical and mental health benefits free with your visit! (Can’t drive? Remember, we have Village volunteer drivers who will happily get you there…they like doing this kind of thing too!)

So, with this in mind, we bring you again our “directions for shopping for a book.” Our cold, grey winter days are prime “reading season,” time to curl up with a good book.  Enjoy!

1.  Pick your local favorite bookstore. Right here in our Village neighborhood, we are fortunate to have two delightful ones: Santoro’s and Couth Buzzard Books. We’re also near Secret Garden Books just down the hill in Ballard, and not too far from Third Place Books in Ravenna, on the other side of Green Lake.

2.  Dress comfy. This may take a while. And there is no dress code for bookstores.

3.  Coffee or tea or goodies for fuel? Couth Buzzard has them in-house; Santoro’s is right across the street from Caffe Vita, Herkimer’s Coffee, Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery…

4.  When you enter the bookstore – this is important – do not, repeat, do not head immediately to the shelves that hold a specific book you might be looking for. Pause to take in the atmosphere, the special smell of books, the sense of all those ideas and stories waiting for you. Meander. You never know what you’ll find. My library holds many wonderful books I’ve found on the way to something else.

5.  Most bookstores are somewhat quiet places, but if you are near another shopper who is looking at a book you’ve enjoyed, nothing wrong with smiling and saying “Oh, I loved that one, especially….” Bookstores are one of those places where we can still make those mini-connections with people who like the same things we do, and for a moment or two share things we like or laugh about or enjoy learning.

6.  Do use the comfy chairs you see. They are not just for resting. They are for “trying on” books. Go ahead, take one or two or three books to a chair, sit, and see what you’ve got. It’s one of the best ways to choose a book. For myself, I know that if I find I’ve read most of a chapter, well, obviously I need that book!

7.  Pay and take home your books right away…instant delivery…as you leave!

8.  Share! Brag! Tell all your friends and relations what a great time you had, and how easy it is to get books without waiting!

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Community Kitchen

Community Kitchen: The Pantry at Delancey

Come join other Seniors at our local cooking school, The Pantry at Delancey, for a morning of chatting, chopping, and cooking!

Community Kitchen 2

With the guidance of chef Kim Cozzetto Maynard, we will be making a variety of delicious home-cooked dishes including freezer-ready baked dishes and soups, sweet treats, and more. You’ll meet folks from all over the area, and at the end, go home with about 5 days worth of healthy, delicious dinners!

This event is designed especially for Seniors and will cost $25.

It will take place on Tuesday, October 8th from 8:30 am -11:30 am at The Pantry at Delancey in Ballard, at 1417 NW 70th St.

To register, please call 206-436-1064 or email: . Registration will be open until September 24th.

For more information on The Pantry, please visit:

The Pantry at Delancey signboard

Community Kitchen 3

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Share Your Wisdom, Gain Some

OLLI LogoJoin Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Washington and register for fall courses today. Choose from courses offered in Everett, Redmond, Seattle and Bothell. All courses are approved by a UW school or department and are taught by current and retired university faculty and community experts.

Below are just a few of our exciting fall courses:

  • Monstrous Reflections: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
  • The History of American Intelligence and Special Operations
  • Geology of the Pacific Northwest

For other Autumn courses click here:

OLLI-UW home

You can take a wide variety of courses and special events through membership in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the UW (OLLI-UW). An endowment from the Bernard Osher Foundation enables the University of Washington to provide these affordable educational experiences.

Who can participate?
Adults over 50, who come together in a lively learning environment to explore intellectual and cultural topics of interest, share their experiences and talents and meet new people.

What subject areas are offered?
Courses and events cover thought-provoking and wide ranging topics from global events to the arts, from history to health science research, to important local and worldwide issues of the day. There’s no pressure of tests or grades and no papers to write.

Who are the instructors?
OLLI-UW courses are led by current, retired, and Emeritus UW faculty and community experts.

What is the cost?
Annual membership fee of $35 gives you access to unlimited OLLI-UW courses each year. There is a fee of $30-45 per course. Fees may be subject to change.

For more information about OLLI-UW, please visit:

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