Community Connection

We Live in a Constellation of Connections


Communities come in various shapes and sizes from small, like friends or family, to large, like a healthcare system, or huge like a big city. Each of us is part of many communities; some at a distance, some requiring a bit of time or energy, or others that encompass and embrace us. Yet the need for community connection is a strong one. Research tells us that people who are connected to others manage their aging better than those who live in isolation.

Being part of a community requires give and take, balancing contributions against that which we take from it. It requires an honest accounting of what we have to give as seniors (probably more than what we imagine at first glance), and what we might need as our abilities decline.

In Marian’s Voice

How can I be my own Community System Designer?

If I am to remain socially connected, mentally stimulated, physically enabled and visible, I must define what elements would support those intentions as I grow older. I must figure out which “communities” would help sustain me. I need to take charge and be my own “community system designer” or there is likely to be an uneven distribution of responsibility as I need more help. I don’t want to put a burden on one or two people unfairly carrying the full load. I will rest easier knowing I have created communities in anticipation of what my needs might be . This is something I can give to the caring people who will help me through the inevitability of aging.

Read more on my blog

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My Place in Community

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About Marian

Marian Leah Knapp, Ph.D., wants to start a new conversation about “aging with intent.” Much of what is written about elders is from the point of view of physicians, psychiatrists, gerontologists, and adult children. In her roles as author, columnist, speaker and elder activist, Marian is reporting from the front lines.
Full biography

Read Aging in Places

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