Aging in Place in the Village — Social Work Roles Shine

The Older Americans Act of 1965 was intended to address the long term care needs of older adults and provide opportunities to remain meaningfully engaged in community life as one ages. However, gaps and fragmentation in long term services leave many without adequate support to remain independent. This traditional system has emphasized a social planning approach, with minimal input from older adults or community members regarding the design and delivery of services. Although several community-based support models have arisen, the Village model typically relies on an informal network of community members to provide assistance to aging populations within a specific geographic area. Although Villages can and have developed through existing social service agencies that use formal services, this article focuses on the grassroots, consumer-driven, volunteer-first model that is most prominent in the Village movement