在线词典,在线翻译

美老年人迅速增多服务机构应运而生

所属:听力板块 阅读:2222 次 评论:0 条 [我要评论]  [+我要收藏]

小编摘要:锡尔夫妇考虑加入一项叫做“虚拟村庄”的组织。这并不是一座真实的村落,而是一个当地志工组成的网络,他们有志于向当地的老年人提供服务。服务项目包括交通,送货,修理甚至溜狗。

美老年人迅速增多服务机构应运而生

At 91, Philip Theil lives in a century-old house in Seattle's University District and that's the way he wants to keep it.

"As far as I'm concerned, I would not like to leave this place," says the naval architect. "Living in a group situation is something I couldn't tolerate. I'd kill myself before I had to do that."

Many elderly Americans, who can no longer manage on their own, spend their final years in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

However, the vast majority of seniors would prefer to live in their own homes as long as possible.

Theil says he and his wife manage pretty well right now. Their two-story house is stuffed to the rafters with the books, artwork and projects of a life well lived. But the couple can feel their advancing age and realize they'll soon need more help with basic household chores, like changing that light bulb at the top of the stairs.

"To change that tube, I have to bring in a stepladder and put it partly on the landing and partly on the stairs and climb up," Theil says. "It's kind of trepiditious."

In the old days, the Theils could ask their children to climb up there or maybe the teenager from down the street when he came over to mow the lawn. But those young helpers have grown up and gone.

"We have kids and we call them occasionally, but one lives in Munich, Germany, another lives in London and a third lives in Los Angeles," Theil says. "They're not going to drop around for a weekend call type of thing."

Aging in place

So the Theils are looking into joining a "virtual village," a new breed of nonprofit which provides a local network of volunteers and service providers dedicated to helping the elderly age in place.

They assist seniors with anything from transportation and grocery delivery to home repairs and dog walking. The concept originated in Boston a decade ago and has since grown into what you might call a national movement. An informal network of villages includes more than 150 others in development or already serving clients.

"The 'silver tsunami' is the term that's tossed about," says Tom La Pointe, who was recently hired to start a village organization in the small town of Moscow, Idaho. "We are trying to get ready for what is anticipated to be a glut of baby boomers retiring within the next 20 or so years."

La Pointe's nonprofit, My Own Home, aims to serve a vast middle ground of seniors; those who are too well off to qualify for public services, but not rich enough to afford their own staff to do things like change light bulbs.

Helping hand for a fee

In most cases, the villages charge a membership fee, which can range from about $100 to more than $1000 per year. Once you're a member, some of the services are free, while others are provided by a vetted third party vendor that might offer a discounted rate.

Judy Kinney directs an aging in place startup called North East Seattle Together (NEST).

"When someone calls us, they may say, 'I need help with transportation.' We're going to work with them to see if it is a volunteer that helps, if it's a vetted vendor that helps or there is a community service in place," Kinney says. "That's the process we're going to do when someone picks up the phone. People have called it a concierge. People call and say I need this help. We help you figure out the best choice."

Kinney's group is one of about half a dozen in the Pacific Northwest expected to launch in the next several months. At a village already in operation in central Oregon, the most-requested services are rides to the doctor, simple home repairs, help with grocery shopping and picking up prescriptions or big items.

In Moscow, Idaho, Tom La Pointe imagines snow shoveling, yard work or computer-tech support will also rank high.

"On the other hand, if you need daily care, 24/7 care, that is not what we do," La Pointe says. "We don't do bathing services for example. We are here and we exist for the folks who might need a little extra assistance."

La Pointe says his nonprofit is not a charity. It, like the others, will charge elderly clients a membership fee. He hopes 40 seniors will sign up by the end of this year.

Those who do might find out if it's possible to recreate old-fashioned social connections to suit a modern world.

菲利普·锡尔今年91岁。这名海军建筑师住在西雅图大学区的一栋百年老屋里。他希望留在那里。

他说:“我不愿离开这里。我无法忍受和别人群居的生活。我宁愿去死也不愿过那种日子。”

锡尔说,他和老伴现在的日子过得很好。他们两层楼的住家,从上到下排满了书籍,艺术品和让日子过得舒适的设计。不过,这对夫妇也感受到年事已高,他们总有一天需要基本家务上的协助。例如在楼梯口上换个灯泡等等。

锡尔说:“为了换那支灯管,我得搬动扶梯,梯子一边放在楼梯口,另一边放在梯阶上。然后我往上爬,那真是令人毛骨悚然。”

在往昔的日子里,你可以叫你的子女,或者街坊之间帮你剪草的年轻孩子过来为你爬上扶梯。可是如今,这些孩子们都已长大成人,他们搬走了。

他说:“我们有子女,偶而也打电话找他们。可是他们一个住在德国慕尼黑,另一个住在伦敦,老三住在洛杉矶。他们不可能为了过周末之类的理由跑来这里。”

因此,锡尔夫妇考虑加入一项叫做“虚拟村庄”的组织。这并不是一座真实的村落,而是一个当地志工组成的网络,他们有志于向当地的老年人提供服务。

服务项目包括交通,送货,修理甚至溜狗。这项构想10年前起于波士顿,后来不断扩大为全国性的运动。一个非正式的网络,可以包括150个正在发起或已经开始提供服务的村落。

例如汤姆·波英德最近被录用,开始建立爱达荷州莫斯科镇的村落组织。他说:“‘银色海啸’是现在流行的名词。我们努力做好准备,来服务预期未来20年或更长期间之内出现的大批婴儿潮退休族。”

波英德所属的非营利机构名为“我自己的家”,宗旨在于向中产阶级老年人提供服务。这群人论财富,已经超过限制,没有资格接受政府照顾。

但是又不是富有到自己雇得起人,做些换灯泡等日常工作的程度。

朱迪·金尼指导开创一个类似的,名叫“东北西雅图聚合”的组织。

她说:“当有人打电话过来说,我需要交通服务,我们就看能否找到志愿工作者提供协助。我们也许找到适合的服务业者,或者当地的社区服务人员。这就是每当有人打电话过来时,我们的工作程序。人们把它称作‘柜台服务’。他们打电话来说需要什么协助,我们就帮他们作出最好的选择。”

金尼的组织是美国太平洋西北海岸未来几个月即将投入运作的6个组织之一。在俄勒冈州中部有一个已经开始作业的网络村落。他们最常见的服务要求是,看医生接送,简单的住家修理,协助前往商店采购,以及到药房领取医生处方药,或搬运笨重物品。

爱达荷州莫斯科镇的汤姆·波英德还想到冬天铲雪,庭院整理,或电脑技术协助等等,需求量也很大。

他说:“另一方面,如果你每天都需要照顾,每周7天,每天24小时的话,就不属于我们服务的范围了。例如,我们不能协助你每天洗澡。我们可以为偶而需要例外协助的人提供服务,就像前面所说的换灯泡等事项。”

波英德说,他所属的非营利组织并不是慈善机构。它向接受服务的年老顾客收取会员费。他希望到今年年底以前,能有40名老年人登记参加他的网络。

参加的人将发现,他们能否重建适合于现代世界的老式社会关系。

标签:voa standard
0
2012-01-13 19:44 编辑:pliny
分享到:
关注海词微博:
发表评论:
表达一些您的想法吧!已有0条评论>>
登录,再发表评论
文明上网,理性发言!
您可能还感兴趣的文章:
>>精华推荐阅读
热门评论文章