In this Book

With a Little Help from Our Friends
summary
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 neighbors. 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 Oregon
-- a senior artists colony in Los Angeles
-- neighbors helping neighbors in "Villages" or "naturally occurring retirement communities"
-- intentional cohousing communities
-- best friends moving in together
-- multigenerational families that balance togetherness and privacy
-- niche 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 aging 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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Prologue: The Oncoming Train
  2. pp. 1-4
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  1. Part I. A Time Like No Other
  2. pp. 5-6
  1. 1. The End of Denial: Taking Charge of How We Live
  2. pp. 7-18
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  1. 2. Interdependence: Reconsidering “Aging in Place”
  2. pp. 19-26
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  1. Part II. A Wealth of Options
  2. pp. 27-28
  1. 3. The Village: Neighbors Helping Neighbors
  2. pp. 29-39
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  1. 4. Cohousing: Creating Community from the Ground Up
  2. pp. 40-55
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  1. 5. Cooperatives: Living Affordably
  2. pp. 56-66
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  1. 6. NORCs: Retiring Naturally
  2. pp. 67-85
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  1. 7. Community Without Walls: Weaving a Web of Friendship
  2. pp. 86-98
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  1. 8. Generations of Hope: Living Well by Doing Good
  2. pp. 99-108
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  1. 9. Affinity Groups: Settling with Your Tribe
  2. pp. 109-130
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  1. 10. Housesharing: Finding Companionship with Friends—or Strangers
  2. pp. 131-143
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  1. 11. The New Family: Balancing Togetherness and Privacy
  2. pp. 144-156
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  1. Part III. Getting from Here to There
  2. pp. 157-158
  1. 12. Design for Life: Building Homes and Neighborhoods That Serve Us
  2. pp. 159-169
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  1. 13. How Will We Pay? Planning for the Unknown
  2. pp. 170-177
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  1. 14. Who Will Help Us? Advocating for Direct Care Workers
  2. pp. 178-185
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  1. 15. Is There a Robot in Your Future? Accepting Non-Human Help
  2. pp. 186-196
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  1. 16. What If? Mapping Our Plan B
  2. pp. 197-216
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 217-218
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  1. Appendix A: Glossary of Alternative Models
  2. pp. 219-220
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  1. Appendix B: Questions to Help Guide Our Choices
  2. pp. 221-222
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 223-232
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 233-244
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