GHENT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — In October, NEWS10 introduced you to Camphill Village in Copake, New York, a community for adults with developmental disabilities and service volunteers to live and work together. NEWS10’s Cassie Hudson continues her series exploring the Camphill movement in the Capital Region. In this special report, Hudson takes us inside Camphill Ghent, a retirement community for seniors that upholds the Camphill principles.
The Camphill movement was started in the 1900s to build communities where people with all abilities can find purpose and belonging. There are more than 100 Camphill locations worldwide, but only two communities are for elders. One is located in Scotland and the other is located in Columbia County.
Located on 110 acres, Camphill Ghent is a vibrant residential community for elders that offers a meaningful quality of life and a rich, active social program designed to support residents in maintaining their independence and joy of living. The average age of residents in the community is 80. Of the 70 people who live there, 16 of them are disability different.
“The special thing is it creates a home for people like me who are elders and there aren’t a lot of other places like that in North America,” said Lois Smith, a 75-year-old resident.
Canada native Christina Bould has lived in Camphill communities nationally and internationally. She met her husband in Copake and was faced with saying goodbye to him when he passed away.
Bould says she wouldn’t trade her experiences for anything. At Copake Village, she lived in a home with 8 people with special needs. “It was just a way of life. You meet yourself in the difficulties in other people, you learn and grow through that in many ways,” she said.
Moving to Camphill Ghent also means you’re welcoming the next stage of your, life one resident told us. Rather than dreading it, the community celebrates it as another milestone in life. “And that part of life, the celebrating of people who have died, it’s a very special part of life here,” said Smith.