Welcome to Millbrook At Home – A New Model for Aging

If you are 50+ or are concerned about caring for an aging parent – this may be of interest

Atul-Gawande
Atul Gawande

Some of us may have seen FRONTLINE’s report on renowned New Yorker writer and Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. In conjunction with Gawande’s new book, “Being Mortal,” the film explores how the medical profession can better help people navigate the final chapters of their lives with confidence, direction and purpose.

This radically different approach to aging and caring for seniors has spawned a movement from its Boston roots.

In May, I hosted a meeting of the local Millbrook clergy (from St. Joseph’s, Lyall Memorial, Grace Church and St. Peter’s) to hear from one of these local all-volunteer organizations “Rhinebeck at Home” with a membership of 110 people,  committed to helping neighbors helping neighbors stay at home.

Our local clergy network wants to explore how this model might help the Millbrook area community plan ahead and our four local congregations might learn something from our friends in Rhinebeck.

We held a panel meeting on Thursday September 7th at Grace Church in Millbrook. Thirty people were able to hear from Nina Lynch and Anne Brueckner on how Rhinebeck at Home began and the kinds of services provided. A Steering Committee was formed and we are gathering information on existing resources and creating a short survey for the Town of Washington.

We have been invited to join Rhinebeck at Home on  on September 25th to watch their national annual meeting of the movement via teleconference with Atul Gawande as the keynote speaker. This is another opportunity to understand this emerging model and adapt it to local needs in the Millbrook community. Seats are limited so RSVP today to vicar@stpeterlithgow.org and arrange transportation.

What we can learn from the Aging-in-Place concept

Rhinebeck at Home joins over 200 existing “aging in place” villages and another 100+ villages that are in development. We are a part of the Village to Village Network (VtV), a national peer-to-peer network that helps establish and continuously improve management of villages, whether in large metropolitan areas, rural towns or suburban settings. The mission of VtV is to enable communities to establish and effectively manage aging in community organizations initiated and inspired by their members. Villages that are part of VtV are membership-driven, grass-roots organizations, and are typically run by some staff and many volunteers. To learn more about Village to Village, visit their website http://www.vtvnetwork.org.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors Stay Independent at Home:

  • Rhinebeck at Home is dedicated to helping our members remain in their homes and stay connected within our community as we grow older
  • Members share a common concern that we may need assistance, now or in the future, to maintain a fulfilling life
  • Rhinebeck at Home encourages and coordinates the efforts of our members to give and receive support

Members help members in some of the following ways:

  • Transportation
  • Providing referrals to other community service organizations
  • Offering social activities
  • Helping each other do things
  • Sharing member-recommended service provider referrals

You can read more about Rhinebeck at Home on their website rhinebeckathome.org. If you are interested in being part of this emerging network, please send us your e mail address here for our monthly updates:

The October edition will have more details on existing local resources and an invitation to attend a community forum to discuss the future use of the Thorne Building in Millbrook on October 10th at 7 p.m. in the Firehouse. Senior needs are obviously part of the conversation, so please join us today.

Rev. Canon Albert J. Ogle, Vicar of St. Peter’s Lithgow