Why People Decided to Build a Village in Their Neighborhoods

Recently, people were surveyed about why they got involved with helping to build a Village in their neighborhood. Here’s what they had to say:

  • “We knew we wanted to remain in our neighborhood as we grew older and having a Village will make that possible.” 
  • “I’ve lived in this house for almost 50 years. I didn’t want to be forced to move somewhere else just because I needed some help.“ 
  • “I finally figured out there is no master plan on any level—not city, county, state, or national—for dealing with all the people who are getting older.  So the only solution is to figure out how to help each other, which is what a Village does.” 
  • “I don’t have the retirement savings to pay $20+ per hour for services or to move into a retirement community.  Staying in my own home and getting services from the Village is what I can afford.” 
  • “We never had any children, so we don’t have anyone to rely on for help. Being part of a Village solves that problem.” 
  • “I don’t need services now, but I may down the road. So I want to make sure there’s a Village in place to help me when I need it.” 
  • “I know a lot of people got involved with the Village because it was an economical option, compared to what else there is out there. Money wasn’t my issue.  I have enough money to pay for whatever I need.  But I’m single and I didn’t want to end up stuck in my house all alone.”
  • “I suppose the reason my husband and I got involved was that we’re still idealists.  We still want to make the world a better place.  Through the Village project we’ve met incredible like-minded people and are building something that we can feel really good about and will make a real difference in lots of people’s lives.” 
  • “I probably am not supposed to say this, but the reason I got involved with helping build the Village is because I’m a control freak.  With a Village, I can be involved in the planning and decision-making from the ground up.” 
  • “What I like about the Village is that it takes advantage of people’s skills and experience and finds a way to use them.  Just because I’m older doesn’t mean I don’t still have a lot to give.” 
  • “I first read about Villages in AARP magazine and wished there could be one in our town.  So, I was pretty excited when our local paper announced that a Village planning group was forming.  I went to the first meeting and haven’t stopped since.”                                                                    
  • “Before the Village came along, I was already looking in on several elderly people who live on my street.  I think that taking care of each other is part of being neighborly—something we all should do.  The Village makes it possible for me to do that on a bigger scale and I like being part of a community of caring people.” 
  • “My wife and I are our planners—have been all our lives.  So even though we’re only in our early 60’s we’re planning ahead on how to be able to stay in our home for as long as possible.  Since a Village is a critical piece of our plans, helping to build it only makes sense.” 
  • “To be honest, I first got involved because I wanted to stay in my home and the Village was the only way I could see to do it.  But the Village has turned out to be so much more.  I really like volunteering. I really like having work to do that I think is important and meaningful. I really like not just feeling old and useless. It’s great to be wanted and appreciated.” 
  • “We started helping with the Village because we wanted a support system for my wife’s mother, who is in her 80s.  Because there are other people to help her and drive her places, she doesn’t feel like such a burden on us, and my wife doesn’t have to worry so much about her.” 
  • “Like many Baby Boomers, I hate the retirement options that exist and would rather die than end up in a facility.  A Village is a way for people to control their own futures—to create a better way to grow old.” 
  • “It struck me as a good idea and that’s why I initially got involved. But I stayed involved because it was fun. I love the people I’ve met through the Village. They’re great.” 
  • “I went to one of those workshops on Mindful Aging, where they ask you what you want your legacy to be.  I decided that building a successful Village would be a really great legacy to have.” 
  • “It’s really pretty simple. We’re paying it forward. Through the Village, we have an organized way to connect with and help older people in our neighborhood. And someday, when we need it, others will help us.” 

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