Best Practices in Seniors’ Housing

The Village Concept

Village living enables older adults to remain longer in their homes.

The baby boomer generation seeks retirement options to enhance their lifestyle choices. For many, it is highly desirable to retire in the home where they have resided for decades. Equally important, many wish to remain part of an intergenerational environment while living active, independent, and social lives in a familiar neighborhood. Within the past few years, villages have emerged within communities around the country, attempting to meet these needs.

As nonprofit organizations, these villages are operated by board members or by volunteers. Some service specific geographic areas, providing members assistance with home maintenance, daily activities, and social gatherings to build neighborhood friendships.  Based on the results of the questionnaires, village organizations are typically operated by boards of directors that design and administer daily operations. Most members pay annual dues, depending on the village structure.

Villages offer specific services with the goal of making daily living more convenient and helping residents maintain healthy, happy, and social lives. When a member needs assistance beyond the capabilities of volunteers or neighbors, the village offers a concierge service for local businesses that is prescreened for security. Vendors sometimes offer lower rates for their services in exchange for the loyalty and repeat business derived from village residents. Volunteers and/or neighbors provide personal, wellness, technological, transportation, and household services along with home repairs. Tasks range from changing light bulbs or installing a DVD player or programs in a computer to housekeeping chores such as help with laundry, gardening, dog walking, grocery shopping, and transportation to medical appointments.

Video – The Village Concept – Case Study