Monday, August 10, 2009

Retiring in Place in Forest Hills

By Bob Otterbourg

 The following article appears in the August 2009 FHNA newsletter...

     I need your help!

     At July’s FHNA board meeting, I was asked to assemble a study group to examine ways the Forest Hills neighborhood could offer volunteer services to its retirement-age residents as well as other residents such as young mothers with children or someone who has broken a leg and is a temporarily invalid.

     Sue and I have been living on Beverly Drive going on 17 years. We enjoy every aspect of living here, but as we have aged we have become concerned about how we will handle living in a multi-storied home. Instead of relocating to one of several Continuing Care Retirement Communities serving this area, such as the Forest of Duke, we have elected to “retire in place.” This said, we are presently taking our carport and converting it into a first-floor bedroom and bath.

     The renovation takes care of our residential needs, but what happens if either of us or any other older residents are not able to drive a car and has a doctor’s appointment or needs to pick up groceries or drug products? The same question might apply to a mother with young children at home who is sick at home and needs someone to get her to the doctor’s office.

      This volunteer concept is not new. To be sure, there are a number of franchised organizations that will perform household errands or chores at a fee. More important, other communities in the U.S. have set up volunteer services. There is no reason that Forest Hills should not be able to put together a volunteer service. As such we would need men and women to volunteer as drivers or to perform some basic and simple household chores – change a ceiling light fixture, or repair a leaky faucet.

      The first step is to form a study group to put together an action plan to present at the FHNA board meeting at its September 14 session.

     To participate in the study group, give me a call at (919) 489-9591 or send an email to