Aging In Place

“Aging in place” is the desire of most seniors. However as people age, this goal isn’t always realistic. A national program, “Village to Village” is designed to keep seniors in their homes longer by providing a support network of services through their “Village”. According to the 2010 census, 28% of households in Colorado are occupied by a single person. For many in single-person households, there is a need to create an unrelated public family that provides social and physical support as well as networks of care when necessary.

The “Village” movement represents a radical rejection of the “ideal” of aging in which retirees discard homes and careers and move to retirement villages in the Sunbelt or nursing homes in their communities. The Village to Village ª model matches volunteers with individuals needing supportive services. These could be seniors who might need on-going assistance and also other individuals, who either through accidents or illness may need temporary aid. Types of assistance might be: Daily Living/Home Services such as Daily wellness check in; Meal preparation; Shopping (such as groceries, other); Services such as taking clothes to the dry cleaners or laundry; House cleaning. Others might be “Personal Services” such as: Help with bill paying or balancing checkbook, etc. or “Health Assistance Services” such as: Nutrition advice; Procuring prescriptions; assistance with Filling out health insurance, claim forms, etc.

A “Village” offers a safety net. Granny doesn’t need to go to a nursing home if she can’t shovel her walk.

Seniors requesting in-home support are often those who are disconnected from their communities and this program may be a way to re-engage them with others. In addition to needed services, the Village to Village ª concept can be expanded to include social activities such as book discussions, lunches, and dinners. In addition to supporting seniors and those needing temporary services, this program is a way to allow residents to give back to their community through volunteering their time and talents.

There is currently two active “Villages” in the Denver area: “A Little Help” in the Washington Park area and “Aging in Place” in Roxborough. Several community residents are looking at the feasibility of establishing a Village in Northeast Denver. We are holding an organizational meeting in August, time and place to be determined.

If you are interested in learning more about the Village movement and participating in planning a Village for Northeast Denver, please contact:

Priscilla Linsley

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