According to a 2011 AARP report, seniors are facing retirement challenges their parents did not. They have more debt and fewer pensions, and many have no savings. Moreover, following the 2008 recession, their housing values had decreased, interest rates are low, and government and non-profit resources were dwindling. There is also significant uncertainty about the future of Medicare and the Affordable Health Care for America Act. In 2010, the Kaiser Foundation reported that only 10% of seniors have long term care insurance. In addition to the economic challenges, many aging boomers do not have the support traditionally provided by extended families, since fewer family members live near one another.
In surveys of older adults, 90% strongly wanted to stay in their own homes and communities. Current seniors, as well as those who will soon be seniors, want to "age in place.” While each Village is different, all focus on providing a rich array of services and programs. Villages also represent a welcome, cost-effective way for citizens to take personal responsibility during an era of declining public resources. The best known "Village" is Beacon Hill Village, started in Boston in 2001. Beacon Hill Village has now grown to more than 300 members, serves four neighborhood communities and has served as a catalyst for the national Village Movement.
Nationwide, more than 350 Villages are now operating and many others are in various planning stages. Many Villages have been recognized as exemplary community collaborations helping older Americans remain in their homes as they age, improve the quality of their lives, and save money in the process.
Village to Village Network
What began as a grassroots idea in Boston spurred an international movement that now encompasses approximately 350 villages in the United States and around the world. These village are all connected to through another organization the Boston Village helped create, the Village to Village Network.
Bring a Village to Your Neighborhood
Village Connections serves the Columbus neighborhoods of German Village, Schumacher Place, Merion Village, The Brewery District and parts of downtown. We enrolled out first members in 2012 and helped several neighborhoods throughout Ohio start their own "Village". We would like to see every neighborhood have their own "Village" so we wrote a one page guide to get interested folks started - How To Build Your Own Village.