Aging in Place
Aging in place is a very interesting and trending concept.
In one way, aging in place is the idea of developing a living space that is accessible, flexible and inclusive. This is done to accommodate an individual’s changing needs to stay independent as they grow old.
In another way, it is developing environments and infrastructure that is adaptable to the aging demographic to keep them living independently.
What if there was another way?
Village to Village Network
A small community that is located in Washington DC has adapted another way.
They have taken the skeletal concept of aging in place and given it a new body.
The smiling faces on all the residents of the Capitol Hill Village in Washington DC speaks for itself.
This community is not owned by a corporation, it was not funded by the government and it is definitely not considered an assisted living facility.
No, Capitol Hill Village is a community of seniors and volunteers that have come together to build an entire village that supports one another.
The movement began in 2006. A man named Geoff Lewis had read about a village in Boston that had built a community to help seniors age in place.
Geoff took this model and built a business plan and gauged interest from the Capitol Hill community.
With enough interest and a group of volunteers spanning many different professions, they began to raise money until they had enough to invest in an office.
The village officially launched in October of 2007.
The In’s and Out’s
The village is still going strong with over 100 volunteers that provide some great services that all the residents can benefit from.
- Convenience Services – Run errands, take care of pets etc..
- Computer & Electronic Services – Fix problems and issues with computers and other electronics
- Financial Aid – Provide assistance while filing taxes and managing finances
- Home Care Assistance – Services to provide bathing, dressing, feeding and walking
- Home Maintenance – Simple repairs and chores like small paint jobs or shoveling driveways
- Rise & Shine Program – A program where a resident will receive a daily call in the morning to check in a see if they are alright.
Those are just the main services that members and volunteers can provide the residents of Capitol Hill.
The other aspect to this aging in place strategy is creating a loving community through social interactions and consistent events and activities.
Residents love the structure and receive peace of mind knowing that there will always be someone there to help and support them in times of need.
All residents are there to support each other and involved in bowling teams, book clubs and other social groups.
This aging in place concept is quite different, but for Capitol Hill, it seems to be working well.
There are many other villages all over and connect to one another through a network of villages.
The organisation – Village to Village Networks provides resources, locations and how to get involved. It is a great initiative that is continually growing across North America.
Maybe this is something that could work for you or a loved one. Find a village near you.