Let them be Free – a Home Exchange Policy

In Jane Fonda’s memoirs she talks about Facts, Films and Activism during her life. 

Her activism is thought provoking, especially this quote, “It’s hard to have a happy life if you don’t have meaning”.  

Over the years as a village professional I have experienced all sorts of requests from residents and whilst No is often an easy answer, I’ve had to pull myself up and say, “Why not?”

One such example comes to mind — a resident wanted to participate in a Home Exchange program.  My initial response was ‘no’, visitors need to be accompanied by a resident as in the contract.

But I thought of Jane Fonda’s quote: what if travelling and sharing their home gives a resident meaning and purpose? 

So rather than stick with ‘no’ I developed a Home Exchange Policy & Procedure for the village in consultation with the Resident Committee.

Some of the key considerations included:

  • Getting the requests in writing
  • The Exchange visitor was to be of similar demographic
  • No visit was to be more than a month
  • The visitor was to meet with the Village Manager and made familiar with the village rules.
  • A breach of village rules would see the visitor’s stay terminated with seven days’ notice
  • All insurances and costs were the responsibility of the resident
  • No rent shall be charged to the visitor
  • Resident was to return to reside in the home

I found out only a few months ago that this same resident at the age of 87 was still participating in Home Exchanges.

If you have residents that love to travel share with them this great new initiative – The Freebird Club.

Jodie

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