The African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” may have a new application—senior citizens. In order to remain at home as we age, we often need help and a village could be the thing one needs to make it a reality.
The National Aging in Place Council (NAIPC) is often found at the center of this kind of village. It was created to support and assist the growing number of American adults who want to stay home as they age. The challenge, according to NAIPC’s research, is often “a lack of awareness of home and community-based services, which help make independent living possible,” (source)
If you hope to stay at home, or want to help a relative to, then it is time to do your own research and make plans. Check out the village option that is popping up around the country. According to AgingWell.com, “Older adults have found that the village living concept offers an alternative” to moving to an assisted living facility when everyday tasks become a burden.
Most often, villages are lead by a board of directors who use resident’s dues to pay a small staff to run programs and arrange services. Staff works to coordinate volunteers, screen vendors for good business practices and negotiate discounted fees for anyone in the Village.
Many villages offer programs to improve strength and balance for aging members. These programs are critical in helping prevent falls and other accidents which can dramatically reduce a resident’s chances of staying home.
Much of the assistance requested through a village network is for technology and for transportation. Volunteers are scheduled to help residents with such tasks as figuring out their computer, programming their DVD player, setting their digital watch and getting places they need like the bank, doctor’s office or grocery store.
Could this be something for you? Take some time to check out what options might be available in your area or coordinate your own village. To read more about this, click here.