Addressing aging issues, village by village

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While the concept that “it takes a village” has become a platitude in popular culture, there are people out there actually putting the village concept to the test. I’m now following the village concept in earnest, and will be interested in seeing how it develops.

I first heard of the concept through Kay Bransford, who has the excellent Dealing with Dementia blog.  She lives in McLean, Virginia, which is home to an active village community. The village is volunteer-based, and supports the needs of its inter-generational community members, with an emphasis on the aging population and the special needs of those with disabilities.

The idea of a grassroots movement that allows one to age-in-place without heavy government involvement is intriguing. The local, community-based approach makes the most sense to me, because neighborhoods have their own individual challenges and opportunities. We also shouldn’t hold our breath that the federal government is going to address the needs of our rapidly aging population anytime soon, no matter who’s in office.

The village movement began over 15 years ago, and the Village to Village Network was established in 2010. Over 200 villages now exist in 45 states. Members help each other by looking out for one another, making sure those who need help aging in place have access to affordable, dependable services for things like home repairs and running errands. Village communities work with existing government and community agencies to address any gaps in care and resources.

I think about how much a strong village model could have helped my parents as they dealt with medical issues and aging concerns.

What do you think about the village concept?

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Awareness & Activism

4 responses to “Addressing aging issues, village by village

  1. The Village idea is a great idea. My FIL used to fall down often from his Parkinson’s. They lived in a senior community, and their neighbor would come over in the middle of the night and help my MIL get him up, since he couldn’t get up on his own. We were so grateful for how much he helped them, and I pray he has someone to help him when he needs it (in Florida).

    Even if the government was involved, it’s highly unlikely the aging would get quality care. They’ve completely screwed up caring for our veterans. My FIL had a lot of difficulty getting his veteran care benefits. my MIL and her sons eventually gave up trying to get them to do what they were supposed to do.

  2. I think the Village idea is a great concept. I checked out the map and found two here in Charlotte. I’m going to share this with my father. Thanks so much, Joy!

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