Senior Nation: A Conversation with Awul Gawande

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The public is invited to a presentation organized by HomePorts, Inc., featuring a webinar from Boston with guest speaker Dr. Atul Gawande on Monday, February 13 at 5 p.m. The one-hour event takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House, 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown.

Dr. Atul Gawande is a renowned surgeon, public health researcher, writer and author of the seminal book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.  His conversation, entitled “Villages: The Value of Community and Choice as we Grow Older,” will feature a discussion on aging, living life with purpose, and how we can transform the possibilities for the later chapters in everyone’s lives.

His book is described by Amazon.com as “riveting, honest, and humane….showing that the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life—all the way to the very end, a book that has the potential to change medicine—and lives.”

This event commemorates the 15th year of the founding of Beacon Hill Village, whose adherents want to “age in place”. They created an organization, a virtual village, which opened in Boston’s Beacon Hill in 2002 and enabled people over 50 years of age the option of choosing how and where they live as they grow older.  The concepts behind Beacon Hill Village have spread across the country, thus creating a “Village Movement” and have attracted the interest of many countries around the world.

Today, HomePorts is one of more than 200 open Villages and more than 150 in development in 45 states and the District of Columbia that serve 40,000+ members. In 2010, the Village to Village Network was formed to ensure the success of individual Villages and the Village Movement through expert guidance, resources and support.

HomePorts  is a membership organization helping older adults continue living safely and independently  in their own homes. Set up by and for local residents, HomePorts is incorporated as a Maryland nonprofit.

Those eligible for membership include anyone over 55 living in the greater Kent County area. HomePorts resources include a cadre of vetted volunteers and referrals to reliable service providers in the fields of transportation; interior and exterior home and yard maintenance; grocery & household services; and personal assistance & trouble shooting.  Additionally, HomePorts encourages participation in social, educational, and cultural activities. HomePorts offers financial assistance to those with limited incomes.

“The organization definitely fills a need in this community. We are now in our ninth year with 100 members. As we have matured, we have learned what members want and need. Many do not yet need help but join in order to support this concept, and when they do have a question or want help, they can just pick up the phone or send a quick note to me,” said Karen Wright, Executive Director.

Information is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., by calling 443-480-0940 or at our website, www.homeports.org. The e-mail address is karen@homeports.org.

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Letters to Editor

  1. Frances Miller says:

    Dr. Gawande’s book is a must read for everyone who is shepherding a loved one through a serious illness, or considering the ways we want to use our own lives as we age. I have read and reread it for its clear-eyed approach to the end of life, its warm and compassionate embrace of the human condition, and for a description of one man’s pursuit of his impossible dream that renders me helpless with laughter no matter how often I read it. I wish I’d had Dr. Gawande’s wise counsel when my husband was reaching the end of his life. If you can benefit from any of these gifts, read his book and come to hear him speak.

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