Tuesday, February 15: National Village Day
On Tuesday, February 15, Fairfax Area Villages are joining Villages across the country in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Village Movement and the positive impact they are having on the experience of aging.
From its beginnings when a small group of Beacon Hill neighbors established the first Village in Boston, to a thriving network today of more than 300 nonprofit, community-based Villages, the Village model is now established as a cost-effective, sustainable solution for healthy, vibrant aging – a milestone worthy of celebration!
Learn more about Villages, and how to start one in your neighborhood, below.
Neighborhoods Supporting Aging in Place
The idea is simple…neighbors helping neighbors. The Village model involves neighbors joining together to form a volunteer group that offers support and access to services for their older neighbors. They can be part of a neighborhood association, another community group or completely independent. Some include fees to provide services that include vetted service providers; however, most are free and rely on volunteers. Because these are grassroots organized initiatives, creativity is abundant. Each village can be unique, hand-tailored to fit local needs, and some provide support for all generations.
Make your neighborhood a better place to grow old. Contact email@example.com and we’ll help you create a caring community that supports aging in place.
Who Creates Village Programs?
Anyone can create a village initiative. A few committed neighbors can organize one.
What Services Are Provided?
Some examples include:
- Rides/transportation to medical services, groceries or appointments.
- Check-in phone calls or friendly visiting for well-being.
- Handyman services like changing light bulbs in hard to reach areas.
- Neighborhood social activities.
- Exercise activities such as walking clubs.
- Computer and smartphone use assistance.
- Weather assistance, leaf raking, snow removal.
- And so much more!
Is There a Cost to Receive Help?
Some Villages charge a membership fee. In many cases, there are no fees and instead neighbors establish volunteer programs. Still others may use volunteer time exchanges called “time banks.”
What Are the Benefits of Villages?
- Neighborhoods are better connected by providing opportunities to get to know one’s neighbors, creating a sense of community.
- They help older adults stay in their homes and/or communities by delaying or preventing the need for institutional care. Intergenerational models help all ages thrive.
- They encourage volunteerism at the local level.
How Do I Get Started?
- Gather four to five interested neighbors who would like to create your neighborhood initiative.
- Survey the needs and wants of your community (and the services available).
- Recruit volunteers.
We Can Help
Fairfax County can provide guidance to help you organize a village initiative in your area, including:
- Meeting with interested neighbors to help them get started.
- Providing examples of neighborhood questionnaires to identify neighborhood needs and interests.
- Exploring a variety of approaches and connect to other local villages
- Helping identify existing resources and connections to them.
- Providing guidance to roll out and sustain your village.