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United Helpers scopes out Waddington for senior housing

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WADDINGTON — More senior housing could be coming to the town.

The Life Enriching Alternative for Families, a branch of United Helpers, hopes to fulfill an unmet need in the north country by building private housing for seniors within their own communities.

An informational session will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the Hepburn Library Community Room to gauge public interest and input on building housing within the town.

“We want feedback on what they like about the model, what they would want to do differently, and what they feel this service would offer the community,” Maplewood Health Care and Rehabilitation Administrator Kimberly A. McFaddin said.

The co-housing concept of residential-style public housing is fairly new to the region and is being researched by United Helpers. “The idea has come about as a trend across the country,” Ms. McFaddin said. “We have low-income housing and rehabilitation centers, but this is different. We researched individual homes and larger facilities. We combined the best from those models to come up with a model that would work best for our area.”

The homes will accommodate six to eight seniors who require or prefer the comfort and safety provided by daily supports and assistance.

The homes will have private bedrooms or suites, private baths and large common areas.

This housing concept may be the perfect model for those seeking a noninstitutional alternative for senior living close to family and friends, Ms. McFaddin said. “That’s one of the emphases of this program: to stay near families,” she said. “A lot of times when seniors live alone or in a retirement facility, they suffer from a lack of activity. Some of them still enjoy day-to-day work. We think this model would address those areas, while also having the support and assistance from family and the residence.”

The model was presented recently in Norwood. “We are looking for a community that has the physical need and interest,” Ms. McFaddin said. “We are in the information-gathering stage at this point.”

A potential location has not been set. Town Supervisor Mark Scott said he would work with United Helpers to find a suitable location.

“I believe there is a large need for this in Waddington,” Mr. Scott said. “I encourage people who are interested to come to the meeting to show their support and gather more information.”

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