Arlington Neighborhood Villages (ANV) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enabling Arlington seniors to continue living in their homes as they age. ANV combines elements of a senior cooperative, a social club and a concierge service. ANV opens in Arlington County in April. County residents 55 years of age and older are eligible for membership. They will pay an annual fee based on the level of services desired.
Arlington Neighborhood Villages is part of an expanding village movement across the country as a new model to facilitate aging in place. It originated in 2001 with the founding of Beacon Hill Village (MA) by a group of seniors seeking a way to help one another stay in their homes as long as possible. There are currently 100 villages in operation in 36 states and another 125 in development. There are three in D.C. and two in Alexandria which have been in operation for several years.
Some of the ANV programs and services that will be available include transportation to medical appointments and grocery stores, household tasks, technology assistance, light household and lawn care tasks, daily check-in calls and more. ANV is supported by a team of trained volunteers. For more information, visit www.arlinvil.org or call 703-509-8057.
It is a widely recognized fact that America is rapidly graying as the Baby Boom generation reaches retirement age. By 2030, 72 million, or approximately one in every five people in the U.S., will be at least 65 years old. According to the Arlington County Elder Readiness Plan, the 65+ age group in the County is expected to more than double between 2000 and 2030.
Past generations often looked forward to retiring to Florida or other warmer climes, but the boomer generation has a different plan. National surveys indicate that 90% of seniors want
to remain in their homes as they age. They want to age-in-place. Arlington Neighborhood Villages is here to help Arlington's seniors do just that.
Arlington Neighborhood Villages (ANV) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enabling all of Arlington County's senior residents to continue living in their homes and communities as they age – safely, independently, and with an enhanced quality of life.
ANV combines elements of a senior cooperative, a social club, and a concierge service. It offers members transportation and shopping assistance, access to social and cultural activities, exercise and fitness opportunities, help with household and home maintenance tasks, as well as information on a host of professional and social services
THE VILLAGE MOVEMENT.
ANV is part of the rapidly expanding village movement. Since the early 2000s the Village Movement has been emerging nationwide as a new model to facilitate aging in place. Villages are self-governing, grassroots, community-based organizations created for the sole purpose of enabling people to remain in their homes and communities as they age. This concept originated in 2001 with the founding of Beacon Hill Village by a group of seniors seeking a way to help one another age in place in their homes as long as possible.
According to the Village to Village Network there are currently more than 100 villages in operation in 36 states and another 125 in development. The Washington DC metro area is an especially active area for village formation. There are already a number of villages in the Washington DC metro area, including Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle and Palisades Villages in DC and At Home Alexandria and Mount Vernon At Home in Virginia. These villages have all been in operation for several years as 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.
Arlington Neighborhood Villages will open its doors in April…just a few weeks from now. A recent research report from the UC Berkeley Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services suggests that villages are proving to be a viable and cost effective method to enable seniors to age in place. This report concludes that villages:
• keep people healthier – 40% are more likely to access medical care and prevention
• help people retain a higher quality of life – 52% agree their quality of life has improved
• allow people to remain financially in control – 75% are more likely to age in their homes
• keep older adults civically engaged – 40% leave home more often to engage with peers
THE ANV MODEL
Arlington Neighborhood Villages has chosen a unique organizational model. It will operate as a single non-profit organization serving all of Arlington County. When ANV begins operations in April, it will function as one county-wide village, with volunteers from across the county serving eligible residents throughout the county.
Arlington Neighborhood Villages’ long-term vision is to create a network of local villages united by a central office. Local villages may be organized in neighborhoods, condo and apartment buildings, or by other groups who have interested members and volunteers.
Volunteers from each village will serve members in their community while taking advantage of the support provided by the ANV central office. This model builds on the strong community identities that already exist within Arlington.
An important ANV goal is to make village services and programs available to all senior residents of Arlington seeking to age in their homes. In order to serve eligible residents who are financially unable to pay the full individual or full household membership fees, ANV has established a financial assistance program.
ANV MEMBERSHIP CATEGORIES AND FEES:
All Arlington County residents who are 55 years or older are eligible for membership Members pay a fee to based on the level of services desired. ANV has three membership categories.
● Full Individual Membership entitles the member to all programs and services offered by ANV. The annual fee is $500, equivalent to less than $10 per week.
● Full Household Membership entitles the member and other eligible persons in the household to all programs and services offered by ANV. The annual fee is $500 for the first person, plus $250 for each additional person.
● Associate Membership entitles the member to all programs offered by ANV except volunteer-provided services. The annual fee is $500 for an individual or household membership. Associate membership is a way of supporting ANV so that it is there in the future. $375 of the associate membership fee is treated as a charitable contribution for the general support of the organization and may be tax deductible.
Financial assistance may be available to full individual and household members who need it.
ANV PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
ANV Programs and services available to Full and Associate members include:
● Social gatherings, outings and educational activities in the neighborhood and beyond, such as potlucks, dinner out, movie nights, book clubs, lectures, game nights/afternoons and other local gatherings.
● Daily check-in calls—a quick call each day to be sure you are OK, plus follow-up from ANV if there is a problem.
● Recommendations to preferred vendors who may offer a discount or special consideration for ANV members.
● Help identifying and accessing county-provided services and other service providers.
● Assistance creating caregiver and other support groups based on the needs and interests of members.
Volunteer-provided services available to Full Members include:
● Transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, or ANV-sponsored activities.
● Home checks to make sure your house is okay while you are away.
● Household tasks such as changing light bulbs, hanging pictures, changing smoke alarm batteries, moving heavy boxes.
● Errands such as pick-up of prescriptions or dry cleaning.
● Technology assistance to help with email issues, setting up a new TV, programming a thermostat, using a new cell phone, or chatting online with grandchildren.
● Occasional yard care such as light pruning or help planting new flowers.
● Medical companion to serve as another set of ears, making sure all medical information and instructions are noted during a visit to the doctor.
● Support in power outages and weather emergencies, such as snow shoveling or finding someone who can store refrigerated medications.
Volunteers are essential to making a village work. They are critical to the success of neighborhood villages and what better way to give back to the community than by helping neighbors remain in their homes as they age?
Residents of all ages can volunteer for tasks suited to their own preferences, schedules, and skills—from providing transportation, to assisting with light home repairs, to checking in with a daily phone call. All volunteers receive training and background checks.
To learn more about Arlington Neighborhood Villages, visit www.arlnvil.org, or call 703-509-8057.