About a year ago, I had piece from the New York Times forwarded to me on something called Virtual Villages. I was intrigued and read the article Retirees Turn to Virtual Villlages for Mutual Support. It described “virtual retirement villages,” whose members pay a nominal yearly fee to gain access to resources and social connections that help them age in place. A GREAT solution for those not yet ready to access the kind of more skilled home care Caring Companions offers.
Villages are based on volunteerism. Community volunteers offer their time to help seniors with a broad array of (usually) simple tasks. These can range from transportation to home repair to yard clean-up; organization of social events…even something as simple as placing care calls. If a senior has a need, they can ask…if the Village can handle it, they jump in and help!
Membership fees go to handling all scheduling and coordination (an executive Director serves as the hub of the organization) and also to pre-screening vendors to handle more skilled tasks or services that require licensing. Members even get preferred rates from approved vendors. To date, there are over 180 Villages nationwide.
I called the head office of the Virtual Village movement and learned there was actually one forming in the Dunwoody/Sandy Springs/Doraville/Brookhaven area. I became a volunteer and it turned out to be one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. You can check out Perimeter North Village (PNV) on their website: Perimeter North Village.
Have a loved one that needs help but is not yet ready for home care? Check out PNV! Their members rant about the help they receive…and as for us volunteers, the gift is getting to know some of our older neighbors who greatly enrich our lives!