The Village Concept
The Village Concept is part of a movement started by the Beacon Hill Village 2002. The idea is having elders stay in their communities and bring in services to support aging in place. As a result, the Beacon Hill village’s pioneering effort has led to over 140 villages around the world. On a national level the Village To Village Network acts as a peer network to help fledgling villages establish themselves.
Creating A Sustainable Village
In September of 2015 Archstone Foundation donated planning grant funds to San Francisco Village to establish a California Village Coalition (CVC). CVC will focus on:
[wp-svg-icons icon=”foursquare” wrap=”i”] Strengthening advocacy efforts
[wp-svg-icons icon=”foursquare” wrap=”i”] Developing sustainable business models
[wp-svg-icons icon=”foursquare” wrap=”i”] Achieving economies of scale
[wp-svg-icons icon=”foursquare” wrap=”i”] Building greater public awareness of the positive impact Village membership is having for older Californians.
Currently, San Diego is home to the Tierrasanta Village of San Diego established in 2008. Since then other communities have begun working on their own village prototype. Villages are supported through individual donations, memberships, grants, and relies on a sharing economy model.
Are Villages The Key To Healthy Aging?
Most noteworthy researchers from University of California, San Diego School of Medicine are teaming up with their counterparts from University of Rome to study a group of a group of 100 year old villagers. The centenarians are residents of Italy’s remote village to the south Acciaroli. Acciaroli is known for low rates of heart disease and Alzheimer’s Disease within its population.
My hope is that researchers will be able to identify both health and social practices that can be replicated in California’s village network.
Aging expert and gerontologist Judi Bonilla is an advocate for empowered aging with over 15 years of experience in senior issues. She is a serial entrepreneur and has launched several startups including: Brain Fit Now! Encore 101 HQ and We Get Around! The adult education startups emphasize “empowerment”– blending information, education, and actionable strategies.