A chapter of a now-international movement to help older people hew to the old homily, "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home," is being proposed for the Northland area.
A second meeting to determine interest among neighborhood residents is 1 to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the Karl Road branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, 5590 Karl Road.
Salem Village resident Charity Eilerman, who works for the Dublin-based health care advocacy organization Syntero Inc., is seeking to organize the Northland Bridge village. A first meeting was held Feb. 3.
"The appeal for me is that I recognize that our population is aging and the majority of the older adults I work with at Syntero want to say in their homes," Eilerman said. "I personally want to stay in my home as long as possible."
Eilerman noted that her own neighborhood not only has an aging population but also an influx of younger families, and creating a local bridge village could be a way of bringing those two groups together.
"I see that as not only a great need in my neighborhood but all of Northland," she said. "We are very much in the exploratory phase right now."
The concept that grew into the "village movement" originated in 1999 in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston. The member-driven, grassroots nonprofits seek to provide affordable services to help older people remain in their homes longer as well as volunteer programs providing transportation and social outings.
"I think our demographics support the fact that we have older folks who live by themselves who need these services," said Christine Rudin, another Salem Village resident hoping to see the Northland Bridge village become a reality. "By and large, it's an older population who, listening to the group at the last meeting, want to stay in their own homes."
Rudin said she hadn't heard about the village concept until she learned of it from her neighbor, Eilerman.
"I have a great deal of respect for her work with the elderly community," Rudin added. "That was my initial introduction to it."
In addition to holding exploratory meetings on forming a bridge village, Eilerman is conducting two community surveys.
One is for people 50 and older and the other is for those between 18 and 49.
That first survey is available at tinyurl.com/yc4rmd7c.
The one for the younger set is available at tinyurl.com/y72ta6pz.
"The more information we can gather, the better we can define what our village will look like," Eilerman said.
"I think once we get the survey returned, we'll have a much better feel for that," Rudin said of support for a Northland Bridge village.
"I see the social part as being important because a lot of folks can't get out to go for coffee or to see a movie.
"All of us at the meeting saw the benefit of older folks interacting with young people, including children. It's a chance for the older people to share the wisdom of their years."
"I am a firm believer in intergenerational opportunities and experiences," Eilerman said. "From the beginning, I want to include intergenerational aspects if possible."
Anyone interested in taking either of the surveys who does not have internet access is invited to call Eilerman for a paper version at 614-205-8174.