The Villages Model for Seniors Comes to Northwest CT
Despite the desire of 80% of older adults to remain in their own homes as they age, many have care needs that require them to leave their homes and enter residential institutions.
It is not just the need for health care that drives older adults to enter a managed facility. Many seniors simply can no longer independently manage some of the tasks of everyday living such as household chores, paying the bills or scheduling appointments and transportation. They are healthy enough to live at home, they just need help with everyday tasks.
Twenty years ago, residents of the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston created a model to address these unmet needs. Based on the theme of “It takes a Village,” the Village model was designed to support older adults’ desires to remain in their own homes as they age. Members of a Village are assisted with everyday services like removing the trash, getting a ride to the doctors’ office or to the home of a friend, or even a task as simple as changing a light bulb in a very high ceiling. In a Village these much appreciated and valued services are provided with local, unpaid Village volunteers.
But the role of volunteers is not limited to household chores. They are also called upon to address members’ number one challenge: isolation and feelings of abandonment. All Villages maintain programs that encourage socialization and active participation in Village programs and activities.
The Village model has mushroomed over the years. There are now over 300 across the nation. Many participate in the national Village to Village Network which provides guidance and organizational support enabling Villages, using its local volunteers, to deliver services that neither governments nor commercial entities provide and at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions.
The Villages of Northwest CT – A small group of individuals in the northwest corner of Connecticut are exploring the need for starting a Village in our area including Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Village. Kent, Lakeville, Salisbury, and Sharon. If you or anyone you know is interested in learning more about how the Village model can help you age well at home, please sign up for regular updates as the Village model develops here in the northwest corner.