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Judy Nerbonne, Portsmouth

This former board member of “Friends of the South End” (FOSE), a neighborhood association, is urging friends and neighbors to join the The Seacoast Village. “We’re close knit, old hands at volunteering in this neighborhood. For years we’ve relied on each other for rides, food delivery and other forms of informal support when neighbors are in need,” she explains. So, why would they want to join the Seacoast Village? her neighbors ask. That’s because its mission extends beyond casual support. “As people age, we begin to realize that we can’t always do for ourselves,” says Nerbonne. “And some people who hesitate to ask for help need support to reach out. That’s where a reputable organizational structure comes in.”

Judy and her husband plan to renovate their house to accommodate them as they age. As a new Village member, she requested advice on how to make their bathroom accessible. “A highly knowledgeable volunteer recommended we get direction from an occupational therapist and gave us names of reputable OTs.” 

The OT they chose evaluated their entire house, advising on such things as a walk-in shower, ramp, stair lift, and carpeting with low pile to reduce the risk of falls. “In addition, we got to discuss our long-term care policy with a Seacoast Village healthcare professional who knows all the agencies, large and small, in this area.” 

“We are so pleased with what the Village is building on the seacoast. I’m hoping as many of my neighbors as possible will become members. Some friends and I have begun to form a cluster of Seacoast Village members in the neighborhood. We began holding informational meetings with Seacoast Village speakers in September, and have already seen an increase in membership.” 

At all ages, being valued as a contributor to one’s community is crucial to well-being. Among the values of joining the Seacoast Village, Nerbonne points out, “is discovering ways to do for others what you may not have imagined would so enrich your life.”

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