Aging in Place Options: Columbine Community Village

Posted by & filed under Aging in Place, Leading a Cause, medical alert.

Something exciting is happening in Littleton, Colorado!  Arnie Snyder is creating one of the newest “Village to Village” communities:

Columbine

Columbine (Photo credit: DKFrost)

Columbine Community Village.

You may not have heard about Village to Village, but the movement is taking the world by storm.   In the United States, large numbers of people are choosing to age in place… often in the home, in the neighborhood they’ve lived for decades.  The cost saving of aging at home is significant compared to choosing an active senior community.  Many studies have shown benefits beyond saving money.  People that age in place, at home, are significantly happier, show significant cognitive capacity and can handle activities of daily living much better than people that choose senior living centers.

These villages support people that want to age at home by offering a network of volunteers to solve their needs for home repairs, rides to appointments, grocery shopping, yard work or other housework, and other services.  They vet local providers so seniors know they are working with reputable service providers.  The service is amazing, and the residents that join these villages have great things to say about them.

The reason I’m excited about this movement can be summed up from an article in the Denver Post about Arnie’s new village:

Are you 55 or older, living in your own home, and planning to stay put?  Ninety percent of Americans prefer to remain in their own homes as they grow older.

Seniors face three big obstacles to living independently at home:

  • The Need for Transportation — Driving may eventually become a challenge, so it’s harder to get to the doctor, pharmacy, grocery store, etc.
  • The Risk of Falling — Injuries due to falls make it necessary for some to leave their homes for assisted living or skilled nursing facilities.
  • Social Isolation and Loneliness — People need to be around other people, to live in community and maintain a sense of purpose.

Now, there’s a practical way to deal with many of these obstacles. By joining a Village , older adults can stay in their homes longer and live with greater independence, supported by a community of neighbors helping neighbors.

Pioneered by Boston’s Beacon Hill Village in 2001, the Village Movement is surging, as local communities create their own Villages.  More than 70 Villages have been formed, serving over 11,000 older adults.  Columbine Community Village is now being organized to serve suburban South Jefferson County.

A Village is typically a local nonprofit organization (501c3), open to adults age 55+, and supported by member dues, contributions, and grants. Volunteers can be just about any age. Many members enjoy serving as volunteers, too.

A Village member can call a single phone number for volunteer services – to get a ride to the grocery store or doctor’s office; repair a leaky faucet; or change a light bulb. When a member needs a reliable contractor – for example, a painter, plumber, or lawn service – the Village can suggest vendors whose background and references have been checked. Villages arrange social and educational events, to encourage a healthy, lively community.  How many of us really know our neighbors these days?

 

Arnie Snyder was involved in Colorado’s first Village, Washington Park Cares (now known as A Little Help), from the beginning.  ”As one of its founders, I’ve been eagerly anticipating the day we could have a Village in the Littleton area, where our family has lived for the past thirty years.”  I’m excited for you too Arnie!

We are happy to support the cause of Villages in their efforts to help people age at home.  We offer services that help seniors that age at home to get help if a fall does happen.  This service is a medical alert, but we’re not like the other medical alerts you may have seen advertised.  We don’t require long term contracts.  We have no set up fees.  Our service includes access to health care through tele-medicine.  Our console has a nurse button that connects our customers directly to board certified registered nurses… any time of the day or night, as often as needed.  All this at a price for much less than some of those other guys.  We also have other services that are included… but this post is already too long.  You can read about the rest of our included services here.

Best of luck Arnie!

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