Nightly News   |  January 24, 2014

Volunteers Help Seniors Continue to Live at Home

Instead of moving into an assisted living facility, some retirees are discovering the benefits of community and how that can help them remain in their own homes.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally here tonight, our periodic series of reports called " trading places ," where we look at our own families and caring for our own aging parents, in this case, in-laws, in the case of my mother and father-in-law, they have joined a group that allows them to grow old in their home. it is called staying put made up of a movement that decides the best retirement community is at home. pat and hud stoddard have been married 60 years, most of them in connecticut, where they raised their children, including a daughter named jane that i married years ago. pat was a teacher, hud, a television executive and over the years they put down deep roots in this town. she is 83 and he is 91. they live in a comfortable home all on one floor and see no reason to move anywhere else.

>> you have a lot of friends who have moved into other places. they have left their homes and gone to assisted living . they're happy there. but you must be very happy having your things, your clothes, your books, your memories, your television. you can stay here.

>> it makes such a difference to have everything that you treasure that way, and remember that way. and wish to use again that way.

>> the stoddards are among the 300 members of a mostly volunteer local organization called "staying put." and true to its name it allows seniors to do just that, kind of an assisted living at home.

>> it is a one phone call away for a resource for whatever.

>> you don't have to apologize for what your problem is. they're used to that kind of thing.

>> that kind of thing can mean a volunteer offering rides for my father-in-law who no longer drives himself.

>> this is pat stoddard calling from staying put.

>> pat volunteers at staying put headquarters. the town's first responders are in on it, too. the first aid squad instructs people to have a list of their medical aids at the ready.

>> it is easier for us and them when they need us.

>> police, fire, ems know your address. the local carpenter knows you're here, and has helped out doing work. it takes a village.

>> it takes a village to raise a child and it takes a village to take care of two elderly people .

>> the village concept started in beacon hill village in boston, and when the families read about it, they started their own chapter.

>> so this is a tried thing for you, you are a founder, a volunteer, and you're a customer?

>> you bet, because it is a darn good idea -- scratch that damn.

>> that is all right, times have changed.

>> maybe they go at the bottom.

>> a 2013 aarp study found most seniors prefer to stay put in their own homes if they possibly can. and it can be way more affordable than paying for assisted living . their neighbor, lisa livingston lives alone in subsidized housing where staying put provides her with company and medicine. even for those seniors with family living right nearby, staying put still offers peace of mind . you have three loving children and a whole big extended family , and grandchildren. we are not here 24 hours a day . there are going to be gaps. and so this is a -- almost a big blanket insurance policy for them.

>> yes, it is, yes, it is.

>> and we have put more information on the "staying put" program on our website for