By Natalie Galucia, Director, The Village to Village Network
Villages are community-based networks that expand options for older adults so they can live fully and independently in their communities. Reflecting the needs of their own members and communities, Villages also share many common characteristics. They provide a strong community that offers members new opportunities to age successfully by connecting them with volunteers to assist in daily tasks and vetted community service providers. They are nonprofit, grassroots initiatives that are membership-based, member-driven and self-governing. They are designed to be inclusive and to reflect their communities and are community partners helping to address the transitions of aging.
Villages commit to helping their members age in a place of their choosing, closely connected to their communities and with the support and tools they need to create successful aging of their own design. They provide opportunities for individuals to use their talents to improve the Village impact and benefit the overall community. Social activities minimize isolation and promote interaction and trust within the Village community between individuals who offer their help and those who ask for help when needed.
The Village Movement started with Beacon Hill Village in Boston over 15 years ago and today there are over 200 open Villages and more than 100 in development in 45 states and the District of Columbia. In 2010, the Village to Village Network – a national organization that collaborates to maximize the growth, impact and sustainability of individual Villages and the Village Movement – was formed. The Network provides expert guidance, resources and support to help communities establish and maintain their Villages.
As the Village Movement grows, we will continue to see Villages deeply engrained in their surrounding communities, advocating at the local and state level, participating in age-friendly plans, and creating a broad impact for all. We’ll continue to see the model adapt to urban, suburban and rural community needs by providing caring in the community, by the community.
For more information, visit www.vtvnetowrk.org or contact the Village to Village Network at email@example.com or 617-299- 9638.