It is well-known today that we are living in a world of aging population.
Longevity is significantly shifting the population more toward an older population, with fewer people of younger age and more of older age.
How does this alter our present and future way of life? In the past, one of our primary social concerns was the education and development of the youngest children from there earliest ages until their early twenties.
Although that remains an important concern, today's parents are also becoming responsible for their own parents, without the same acknowledgment and without social concern.
Elderly generally want to remain in place and take care of themselves as long as possible and prefer caring for each other rather than be a burden on their children or on younger members of the society.
It then becomes important that various means for doing this be reviewed and put in place. This social responsibility becomes that of the local community, especially in places like Shorewood. At one end, the community can provide for in-place living and at the other end provide group homes.
Today we have the opportunity for providing for group home living at the site that has been considered for independent living and extended care, referred to as the Sunrise site. Group home living makes it possible for over 60 to live in group circumstance and provide care for each other.
Many citizens of Shorewood would like to see the community begin to look into the provision of group homes and independent living accommodations in our own community.
There are many possibilities including existing apartment buildings and facilities that can be grouped together in a meaningful way to provide self-servicing and independent accommodations. Although these can be cooperative type ventures, arrangement for in-lieu of taxes can also be made.
It would be a progressive move if some of the more innovative members of the Village Board and of the School Board could lead in the planning and to work toward making these provisions possible.
I've indicated some possibilities and I would be happy to offer my assistance to either or both of these boards in any efforts to get a lead toward group home type living for the older adults of our community.
Economic stimulating programs could provide for these type of developments if the plans are in place in sufficient time. We should be discussing these possibilities here in Shorewood, within a program for upgrading some of our public buildings.