When SAIL was founded in 2005, we had no idea we were almost identical to another organization already thriving in Boston, MA, Beacon Hill Village. Nor did we anticipate SAIL becoming the nation’s second “village” in what is now a growing movement helping older adults remain active and independent, while giving them an opportunity to volunteer and contribute to important causes, and receive help if and when it was needed. Over the past ten years, hundreds of villages have sprouted up all over the country proving the Village Model meets the unique needs of a rapidly growing aging population.
Click here to see an interactive map of all of the villages in the country.
SAIL’s own Ann Albert, having been one of the Village Movement’s pioneers, has consulted all over the country with people who want to start their own villages. The idea is catching on with the growing senior population, and goes hand in hand with what’s known as “Aging in Place,” or, being able to stay in one’s home, amongst one’s treasured family members and belongings, even as aging begins to bring up certain challenges. It’s also about being prepared; not waiting for a crisis to cause you to have to make difficult decisions.
This article from the New York Times illustrates just how important a concept Aging In Place is, and how many people are thinking about it and taking active steps to embrace their next chapter. The author of the article recommends the book “Age in Place: A Guide to Modifying, Organizing, and Decluttering Mom and Dad’s Home” (which, of course, you can also use on your own home.). The book is available on Amazon.com here and through the Madison Public Library. (Click to see branches and availability).
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we’re proud and thankful for the Village Model and all it does to encourage healthy, happy living in older adults. Whether it’s making new friends, going on new adventures, knowing you have help when you need it, making sure your home is ready for oncoming challenges, or simply having peace of mind, the Village Model is truly revolutionary.