Autism and Neurodiversity in the Neighborhood
One of the biggest obstacles to a rewarding life for our retirement aged community members is not having the opportunity to engage close enough to where they live. Imagine getting help from a neighbor nearby and being able to help them in return. Imagine a place where people have a bigger pool of friends who can help them out with a ride when needed. Imagine a neighborhood where learning something new, doing meaningful activities and doing it on your own terms is the way of life. The strongest relationships are created from sharing work.
Our autistic members are often held back by the lack of understanding of their autism. We expect to help community members to learn about autism and learn how to better interact with each community member. We expect to create an autism informed community that will open doors for friendships and create new opportunities for learning various social skills. We imagine the “All Day Cafe” where our retirement agers can meet for coffee while job coaches from a partner organization help people with learning how to wait on people. Imagine how meeting for coffee is a meaningful service to our special people! We look forward to creating new volunteer opportunities for both our older Americans and our autistic community members.
Let’s Reinvent Retirement Lives
The choices in our way of living need to be expanded. Our population is aging and with the huge numbers of boomers aging we will have challenges that we have not seen before. The great news is that we have more information than ever to help us imagine new ways of reducing dementia, reducing debility and creating meaningful lives in the advanced decades of life.
Over and over it is shown that relationships to one another, physical activity and healthy eating each combat the physical and mental declines that many retirees experience. Current ideas about “Aging in Place” make sense for those who have an active social life where they are. When “Aging in Place” perpetuates isolation and loneliness, it is not good for health. “Aging in Community” is a new choice that opens opportunities to create new relationships that enable more meaningful engaged lives. Lives filled with purpose are healthier happier lives.