For Aging in Place, Seniors Look to New “Village” Concept

For those people who prefer to stay in their homes rather than move into a designated senior living community for their aging years, a new concept is taking off in some areas. The “Village” concept is beginning to spread across the nation, the Boston Globe reports, featuring services supported by neighbors.

“This is a common sense movement that comes from elderly organizers themselves,’’ said Judy Willett, the former director of Beacon Hill Village and the new national director of Village to Village, which is based in Newton. “Ultimately, it’s elderly volunteers who organize each village, and every [group] has roughly the same values and same core goal of helping people stay in their homes.’’

Though some groups allow people 50 and over to join their village, most organizations set the age limit at 60 and up.

[One village’s] offerings include a “one call’’ phone service where staff help members with requests that can range from how to hire a snow plow operator to dealing with health insurance issues. Dues also cover grocery deliveries, provided by a transportation company, and a free driving service for members – handled by volunteers – to get to medical appointments or the pharmacy.

For an additional fee, members can access a screened list of home service providers, including a 24 hour electrician, plumbers, handymen, physical therapists, home health care assistants, tailors, gardeners, and others. After interviewing each participating vendor, Cambridge At Home secures 10 to 15 percent price discounts from them for its members.

The state director of Massachusetts’s AARP chapter called the Village movement a “model of how to care for the elderly who want to stay in their homes.”

Read the full Boston Globe article.

Written by Alyssa Gerace

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