Aging well, in place

By THOMAS CAMBRIDGE, executive director, Growing Older Together
Posted 5/17/23

With the advancement of medicine and increased emphasis on healthy lifestyles, Americans are living longer than ever before. 

Since 1950, life expectancy in our country has increased by …

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Aging well, in place


With the advancement of medicine and increased emphasis on healthy lifestyles, Americans are living longer than ever before. 

Since 1950, life expectancy in our country has increased by nearly 20 percent. A longer life—sounds great, doesn’t it? And it should. But even healthy aging bodies may experience a new set of physical limitations. And just because a 70-year-old man who lives alone is able to get on a ladder to change a light bulb, should he? A slip from the third rung of that ladder could mean a trip to the ER. 

In many cases, a dilemma arises when an otherwise healthy person becomes limited by the things they used to do in their home, but no longer can. 

Studies reveal that most U.S. residents over the age of 60 desire to stay in their homes—to “age in place.” 

This does not mean staying in one place. It means a continuance of life as it has been, with some outside support to assist in areas where needed. 

This can take the form of household chores—cleaning out closets to reorganize and make more room, bagging up garbage or changing smoke-detector batteries. It can mean transportation to doctor’s offices, pharmacies or the library. Or it could be simple social interactions, e.g. enjoying an afternoon visit from a friend or neighbor and a cup of tea. 

People who live in rural areas such as the Upper Delaware River Valley can find it a greater challenge to age in place due to isolation, whether chosen or not. 

This is where area nonprofit support organizations like Growing Older Together (G.O.T.) and Tusten Social add value to our communities. Over the past six years, G.O.T. has utilized an expanding, energetic brigade of volunteers to serve its members, aged 60 and up, in Wayne, Pike and western Sullivan counties.

They provide all the services described above, not only so G.O.T. members age in place, but do it well. 

Newly formed Tusten Social aims to serve both seniors and youth in the area through programs that engage and connect. In April of this year, collaborating with G.O.T. and the Sullivan County Office for the Aging, Tusten Social launched the “Sage Sessions”—twice-monthly gatherings for all residents in the area aged 60 years and older to meet, converse, enjoy free coffee and pastries, and have fun. 

The first two sessions were very well attended, had lots of smiles and laughter, and included trivia games with topics from the 1960s and ’70s. 

Also offered is a “How Can We Help?” desk, where attendees are connected to useful resources in the area, so that they can age well, in the homes of their choice. 

The Sage Sessions meet on the first and third Tuesdays of each month, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at Bridge Street Bakehouse in Narrowsburg, NY. Further information can be found at

Have some free time, and wish to round out your life with some volunteer service? Growing Older Together is always looking to bring on new volunteers. They not only assist seniors, but also staff information booths at street fairs, and can sign up to help at the upcoming annual fundraiser on Saturday, August 5—the G.O.T. Lavapalooza. It’s live music, food, dancing and a carnival midway, all under a big tent near Lava, NY. There will be fun for all ages. 

If you or someone you know could use that extra help to age in place well, or you’d like to become a volunteer, call 570/630-0509, or visit G.O.T.’s website at

growing older together, aging in place, sullivan county, new york, tusten social


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