Single and retired, with no family nearby, 64-year-old Lorna Grenadier knows she'll need a better support system if she wants to grow old in her apartment in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington, D.C., where she has lived for 40 years. So she's added community organizing to her list of interests and is helping create a service network she hopes will enable her and others like her to remain in their own homes as they age.
For the past 18 months, Grenadier has been working with other volunteers to research and launch the Foggy Bottom West End Village network. The group aims to provide paying members ($600 a year for singles; $900 for households) a range of services, including transportation and connections to vetted local businesses, as well as serve as a contact point for emergencies. Some of the annual fee will also cover social activities for members.
"It’s also about providing peace of mind," says Grenadier -- a sort of insurance policy should someone need help. In a survey of potential members in the her area, 75 percent said they were interested in the concept, though just 50 percent said they would need the services today.
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