How a new kind of community is creating a better aging experience

Looking For The Light

Jan 4, 2018/ Joseph F. Coughlin

By joining the Beacon Hill Village in Boston, older people commit to helping each other while they stay in their own homes. And they have plenty of fun while doing it, says MIT AgeLab director Joseph F. Coughlin.

Joan Doucette was sipping coffee in a small café at MIT, her bicycle resting next to her. The Institute tends to frown on bringing bicycles into buildings, but only a hard soul could have stopped Doucette from wheeling in hers, with its ribbons streaming from the handlebars, white tires and a front basket filled with yellow and pink flowers.

The demeanor of the 75-year-old cyclist was just as sunny. Doucette peered up from a travel itinerary for a trip to Chicago. “There’s going to be 20 of us going,” she said. “We’re going to take a river trip. We’re going to go to the museums…

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