Village caregiving, also referred to as the village movement, is a nationwide non-profit network that offers services to older Americans in exchange for a membership fee. This opens the door for many to age in place at home. Learning about the village model and the services provided can help you determine if village caregiving is the next best step to your retirement goals.
- Written by Lindsey Crossmier
Lindsey Crossmier is an accomplished writer with experience working for The Florida Review and Bookstar PR. As a financial writer, she covers Medicare, life insurance and dental insurance topics for RetireGuide. Research-based data drives her work.Read More
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- Reviewed ByRobin Schiltz, C.D.S.
Robin Schiltz, C.D.S.
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- Published: June 13, 2022
- Updated: May 23, 2023
- 3 min read time
- This page features 4 Cited Research Articles
- Edited By
What Is the Village Movement?
The Village Movement refers to village caregiving, which allows older Americans to age in place by providing services and support within their community. Aging in place means you stay at home in your later years instead of moving into other senior housing options. Each village is supported by a wide range of nonprofit organizations across America.
Village caregiving is a relatively new concept that is rapidly growing. In 2010, there were only 35 villages in America. By 2016, there were 190 villages established. Now, there are over 350 villages nationwide.
There are many beneficial services within the network that can provide ease through retirement. Some villages even partner with medical offices or small businesses to get a discount for members. While not every village offers the same exact services, there are several that are almost always available.
- Home maintenance
- Companionship services
- Social events
- Medical referrals
- Educational programs
- Art and culture experiences, such as a group museum trip
- Excursions to local parks
- Exercise programs
- Technical support
Know that the village movement was not formed with the intention of medical care or round-the-clock care. A village caregiving community is formed to promote good health and wellness habits while forming meaningful relationships — not necessarily to treat conditions.
Village caregiving typically involves recruiting and training volunteers, structuring the village and developing payment models that are affordable and accessible to all members. This model can be an effective and affordable option for older adults who wish to age in place, while also addressing the growing need for supportive services in the aging population.
The Village Model
The village model is typically self-governed and supported, made by a community who takes action to support care services for older Americans within their community. The funding for village caregiving is from donations, grants and membership fees.
To join a village caregiving community, you must pay an annual membership fee. On average, the fees range between $150 to $500 per person. Some communities offer discounted membership prices for those with a lower-than-average income. Although many rely on volunteers for village caregiving, there are operational costs and paid employees as well. This is what the membership fees help cover.
You may be wondering — how does village caregiving work?
Village caregiving functions like a concierge service. If you need assistance, all you need to do is call the phone number provided and ask for a service. This could be a service that a volunteer or non-medically trained worker could help with, like transportation to the doctor’s office.
The phone operator could also help you find a reliable professional service. Since villages have become popular, many have established good relationships with reputable companies, such as handymen or in-home caregivers.
Most villages offer social events and gatherings that do not require a phone call. You will simply receive a calendar or flyer for upcoming events.
Where Can I Find a Village?
Since there are over 350 villages nationwide, there is likely one in your region. There are several ways to find a village caregiving community near you.
The nation’s largest organization for home care, Village Caregiving, has an online search tool available to help you find a village caregiving community near you. However, the Village Caregiving tool can only search for villages in thirteen of the states.
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
If the state you live in is not listed above, then you may have to research on an independent search engine instead.
If you decide to perform research on your own, know that many retirement homes refer to themselves as villages. This is not the same thing as village caregiving. The goal of village caregiving is for you to stay at home and have services available, not to move to a new location.
4 Cited Research Articles
- Thompson, T. (2017, May 9). The Age-in-Place ‘Village’ Movement. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2017/age-in-place-village-movement-fd.html
- Graham, C. et al. (2016, October 5). Do Villages Promote Aging in Place? Results of a Longitudinal Study. Retrieved from https://socialwelfare.berkeley.edu/sites/default/files/casas_pubs_dovillagespromoteaginginplace.pdf
- Accius, J. (2010, March). The Village: A Growing Option for Aging in Place. Retrieved from https://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/liv-com/fs177-village.pdf
- Beacon Hill Village. (n.d.). What We Offer. Retrieved from https://www.beaconhillvillage.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=332658&module_id=344161
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