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Village to Village Network

Village to Village Network helps communities establish and manage their own aging in place initiatives called Villages.

ABOUT: Village to Village Network is the National Association of the Village Movement. It is a membership-based organization that brings Villages together to create a “Village commons.” Established in 2010, the Network evolved as a way for Villages to share best practices, provide expert guidance, resources and support to help communities establish and maintain their Villages. What started as a concept has lead the way for a positive, forward-thinking model for aging.

The Village Movement started with Beacon Hill Village in Boston in 2002 and today there are more than 250 open Villages and more than 100 in development in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

The Network is heading by a Board of Directors from around the country who are committed to the power of the Movement.

Village to Village Network represents and advocates on behalf of Villages in local, state and Federal issues and legislation that are relevant to aging, such as housing, caregiving, insurance, isolation and transportation.


MISSION: The Village to Village Network is the essential tool that enables community members to build and sustain thriving Villages. The Network creates interactions that connect Villages with resources, education and expertise.


VISION: Through innovation, collaboration, advocacy and inclusion, the Village to Village Network expands opportunity, choice, support and care for all older people.


VILLAGE TO VILLAGE NETWORK CORE PRINCIPLES:

  • Practice consensus and transparency at all levels of the community
  • Support the practice and principle of reciprocity and the intentional exchange of ideas, approaches, learnings and shared wisdom
  • Create innovative programs that help develop Village leadership
  • Provide a forum for member Villages to share knowledge about their issues and successes


INDIVIDUAL VILLAGES WILL:

  • Commit to helping their members age in a place of their choosing, closely connected to their communities and with the supports and tools they need to create successful aging of their own design
  • Create opportunities for individuals to use their talents to improve Village impact and benefit the overall community
  • Provide social activities that minimize isolation and promote interaction and trust within the Village community, between individuals who offer their help and those who ask for help when needed

VILLAGE CHARACTERISTICS:

  • Reflect the needs of their members and communities and share many common characteristics
  • Provide a strong community that offers members new opportunities to age successfully
  • Nonprofit, grassroots initiatives
  • Membership-based, member-driven and self-governing
  • Designed to be inclusive and to reflect their communities
  • Community partners helping to address the challenges of aging 


WHY VILLAGES ARE NEEDED: Villages are well positioned to improve the population health of the communities they serve. Until the year 2029, 10,000 people will turn 65 on a daily basis. In Britain and the United States, roughly one in three people older than 65 live alone, and in the United States, half of those older than 85 live alone. Studies in both countries show the prevalence of loneliness among people older than 60 ranging from 10% to 46%.


“The profound effects of loneliness on health and independence are a critical public health problem,” said Dr. Carla M. Perissinotto, a geriatrician at the University of California, San Francisco. “It is no longer medically or ethically acceptable to ignore older adults who feel lonely and marginalized.” Research shows that 60% of health outcomes are based on behavioral, socio-economic and environmental factors.


Village members experience reduced isolation, increased independence, and enhanced purpose of life. “Villages are instrumental in helping people remain in their homes and independent in their communities.” - Ilene Henshaw, AARP, Department of Government Affairs.


*SOURCES: University of Wisconsin, School of Public Health; NY Times; Pew Research; Kaiser Family Foundation