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We have been inspired by Treehouse Community in East Hampton MA, a successful intergenerational intentional community supporting families who are adopting children who have had experienced foster care. We would like to bring together interested seniors in a community that supports persons with autistic features, who would benefit from an understanding community to build relationships.
These are two populations that are at risk for suffering from loneliness boredom and depression, seniors and persons with autistic features. We would like to bring people together in a community of acceptance and neighborly caring to benefit all.
Loneliness has been shown to carry as much harm to one’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness is a significant drive for heath care visits sometimes the doctor visit provides the only human contact and caring that a person has in days. Engaging people socially would be much more effective in a caring community.
Persons with autistic features struggle with making friends and sustaining friendships but can thrive where they are understood and appreciated.
Many seniors would like to be loved and appreciated as well as participate in meaningful activities that allow them to give of their skills on a low intensity commitment level that provides satisfaction and connection.
We envision an extension of the physical community organized by a community center to provide similar friend making opportunities for people who live outside the community.
It is the intent of the community to grow the natural supports in the primary community and the community at large to support seniors as well as persons with autistic features in the highest level of independence possible. It is an aim of this group to create a self renewing group of natural supports to be capable of advocating for the persons with autistic features when their parents can no longer provide the social supports.
We believe that given the appropriately motivated people the community will benefit all participants and create a long term situation favorable to all.