To the editor:

I think its time to get a little dialogue going about this subject I have been discussing with different people in the community, who seem to feel the same.

There is something that has been on my mind for awhile. It seems there are quite a few of us in Vankleek Hill and area who are over 60. Either that or people are looking younger.

Downsizing seems to be the new norm. The model for that has been around for a few years in Europe and the U.S. and some areas in Canada. We see pictures of communities with small, separate dwellings, for individuals who are capable of living on their own. Downsizing is still having access to tools and equipment and cooking gear which we need on occasion, which doesn’t have to be in our home. Not like the old days when we had families. We all have some of the same libraries for example..

What about having little subdivisions with pods, or tiny homes, or small efficient houses. There would be a main house to hold all that stuff just mentioned above. Of course it would need a concierge or groundskeeper to keep track of this. That main house could have a library, work shop, exercise area, which could accommodate other activities like dancing or even yoga. We are talking 10 to 15 or 20 individuals living in a 5 or 6 acre area.

At this time, 2017, it appears no one is looking toward the future. We will all need something like this. It seems we are ignoring the fact that there will be no place to go. Today there are three places in Vankleek Hill where one could go. The Manor on Derby and the smaller building in front of the Manor on Derby or Heritage Lodge. You can end up in Heritage Lodge for starters, for many reasons, and thank heavens there is such a place. Reasons like, you start becoming forgetful and do things like leave the stove on. You can’t get up and down off the toilet, and need some help. Simple things like losing your vitality because you forget to eat and more important hydrate with water. There are many other health issues which I am sure you are familiar with.

There is a rumour going around that no investor would wish to get involved in this community where it seems impossible to get something like this idea started. We have all heard the horror stories about …..oh no, this level of government needs this or that. Or ….yes you can do such and such and when you buy the place and move in, oops things change. Its all about the money. Each level of government has its own rules. Chemical toilets. No way. There is a lot of new technology that would work well with this project.

It is time to have a look at a situation that could come up quicker than we think. I love our town. We are blessed with the people who live in this town and the Vankleek Hill area. We are not looking ahead at this moment.

The politicians should realize they could set themselves up with a better way to enjoy the later years. If you would like a wake up call. Drive through Orleans, Ontario and check out all the buildings dedicated to Seniors, owned by investors who have seen a way to make some money off of people being housed in apartments …. with no purpose. Not even a dog or cat. I didn’t see a lot of gardens. Don’t get me wrong, its a good thing these places are there because that is the only module right now.

My dream is big. To have these communities, dotted throughout Vankleek Hill, where people could live with purpose.

In the meantime, lets keep ourselves healthy and fit so we can remain independant. People are living to 116, that gives me another 38 years. I’m ready. Maybe its time to get our heads together.

Vankleek Hill