Being a proud senior myself, and one who is faced with the very real possibility that my current home may not be where I can stay until my end of days, I worry. Why? Because there will come a time when I can no longer climb stairs, my liquid assets will dwindle and it will become more difficult to afford — let alone find — other people to maintain the house and yard. There may be no one to take care of my critical needs when I no longer can, even though I have amazing long-term care insurance.
People I’ve become close to have had to move off the island to feel they will be adequately housed and taken care of as they become more dependent. Why can’t they stay here? Two main reasons: (1) There are not many single-story homes adapted to senior living, and (2) there is not enough affordable housing for those who have the skills and desire to care for the aging.
It’s critical that Orcas Island provide housing that is so sorely needed to keep its community strong, economically sound, diverse and socially vibrant. I don’t want to move somewhere else. I want to stay here where I have family, friends and a life I love.
A yes vote for the home fund in November will be a very positive step in that direction. You can bet it has my vote. I sincerely hope it has yours.