What is a Village?

A “Village” is a virtual community, a set of services and relationships, not a building or a physical location.

“Villages are membership-driven, grass-roots organizations that, through both volunteers and paid staff, coordinate access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities, and other day-to-day needs enabling individuals to remain connected to their community throughout the aging process.” (www.ncbcapitalimpact.org)

  • Villages help people help themselves to live independently in their own homes
  • Villages are community based organizations that address the rapidly growing demand among elderly to remain socially connected and fulfill their needs related to aging in a setting of their choice
  • Villages are consumer-driven self-governing non-profits that provide members 50 and over with an affordable option to remain active, independent and civically connected to their communities
  • “Villages are membership-driven, grass-roots organizations that, through both volunteers and paid staff, coordinate access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities, and other day-to-day needs enabling individuals to remain connected to their community throughout the aging process.” (www.ncbcapitalimpact.org/default.aspx?id=1316)
  • Beacon Hill Village, opened in 2002, was the first to create a grassroots support organization enabling seniors to stay in their homes as long as they wished. They have served as the model for other villages throughout the country.

How Does It Work?

Each Village is unique but some features appear to be common to most:

  • Non-profit Membership Organizations
  • Serving people 50 or older – some exceptions do not use age as a criteria
  • Primarily for “middle class” but many have provisions for low-income
  • Have geographical boundaries – sometimes grow with time/need
  • “Concierge service” i.e. one number for all assistance
  • Variety of standard services with accommodations/assistance for individual needs
  • Referral services with preferred venders or strategic partners
  • Discounts and members only benefits/socials
  • Members pay fees for service
  • Advocacy
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Typical Services

  • Shopping
  • Housekeeping
  • In-Home Care (case managers; companions, homemakers, personal care)
  • Medical Needs
  • Home Repair & Maintenance
  • Transportation
  • Organized Social Events and Educational Programs
  • In Home Convenience – paying bills; waiting for vendors; watering/feeding animals

Why Join?

  • Insurance – prepare for the unexpected
  • Safety Net – support when you require it
  • Sense of Belonging – a Village provides new friends and deepens relationships
  • Strengthens Ties to your Community
  • Enhances your Lifestyle – getting help dealing with tasks you previously had to handle on your own
  • Less costly than alternative living situations (CCRC; Senior Homes, etc.)
  • Enables you to enjoy life while someone else handles the chores
  • Peace of Mind
  • Keeps you in your own home and community
  • Village-vetted vendors save time & money/offer discounts
  • At some point we all need help and can’t always depend on or ask our neighbors

What is the need?

  • 10,000 of our 79 million baby boomers turn 65 each day
  • They are in better health and have a longer projected lifespan than the previous generations
  • This emerging group of elders provides a tremendous challenge and opportunity for creative new services
  • Surveys show that most Americans would prefer to “Age in Place” remaining in their communities, neighborhoods and homes for as long as possible

How do Villages answer these needs?

  • “Aging in Place” provides comfort and convenience
  • When supported by volunteer services, it is less expensive to society than paid assisted living facilities
  • By enabling seniors to remain in their homes – communities achieve a diversity of age, perspective, and abilities that benefit all residents
  • In response to this need, communities are beginning to launch programs known as “Villages” to create a fabric of cost-effective services directed at resident elders in order to insure that they can remain safely and productively in their own homes for as long as is reasonably practical.


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CPR/Stroke Classes for Seniors

Lear Hands-Only CPR flier

Of the many people who experience major medical emergencies each year, a number of the victims do not receive the help they need because their emergencies are not obvious—to themselves or passersby.

EMS has designed a free, non-certifiable course especially for seniors* to help them recognize the signs of stroke, learn hands-only CPR, and learn what to say to 911 dispatchers when someone is experiencing a medical emergency.

There will be a free, one-hour training at Balllard Community Center on Oct. 23 from 10:30-11:30 am.

Ballard Community Center
6020 28th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107
October 23, 2017
10:30 – 11:30 AM

Please consider taking the time to attend this class. You could be the difference in someone’s life.

* Notes: This class is intended for those 60 and older, but you will not be turned away if you attend.  This is a FREE class. No preregistration required. Just show up and sign in when you arrive. If you cannot attend one of the classes offered in October, there will be others offered in locations around Seattle through winter and spring of 2018.

(Original posting appeared on Nextdoor.com by Recreation Specialist Carol Baxter-Clubine with the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation:  carol.baxter@seattle.gov).

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