The Village Movement
The Village Movement: Nationwide, Grass-roots
The San Francisco Village is one of the local Village organizations cropping up nationwide - a non-profit network of San Franciscans over 60, a lively, diverse group committed to helping each other when there’s a need.
"We’re advocates for aging in the best, most vibrant way possible, our lives growing, not shrinking. Yet we’re realistic about the transitions that come with getting older.
We help our members prepare for and navigate these transitions by offering friendship, expert guidance, services and - who can live without it? - fun."
People want to stay at home
When asked, 80 to 90 percent of older people say they want to remain in their own homes as long as possible.
But an older person who can no longer drive may become isolated, lonely and at risk of malnutrition if there is no person or community service to shop for her and take her places. Even stairs are a major obstacle.
Helping each other
The Village arranges for volunteer or vendor services, and ongoing connection to friends in the neighborhood.
Long Term care insurance can help pay for help at home or nursing care.
Over ten years ago, neighbors in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood met together to discuss aging in place. Realizing that, in general, the indigent would be taken care of by government subsidy and that the wealthy can provide for themselves, they were concerned about their middle class futures, and wanted to age in their own homes.
Hence, they formed the prototype of what is now over 95 villages with 120 more in formation.
The back story
But before there was a SF village, one clever woman who lived alone in a house - up 65 stairs from the street – would get help with minor maintenance (loose hinge, light bulb replacement, and the like) by ordering out for fast food delivery, and when the younger person arrived with her order, she would greet them with a screwdriver or a light bulb in her hand and ask for assistance.
She said it always worked.