Virtual Villages for Aging in Place
A discussion of the history and viability of the Village concept of aging in place. Boston's Beacon Hill Village enrolled their initial members in January 2002, the first Village in what has grown into a small scale national movement. The Village concept has gained much attention as a model for aging in place. Villages are community-based, self-governing, not for profit organizations whose members pay an annual fee, from several hundred dollars to a thousand or more, to obtain access to an array of services that may assist them to maintain their physical health, keep up their property, manage their resources, continue to grow intellectually and engage socially. In short, to remain part of the community in their homes. Villages are virtual constructs that are superimposed over a fairly defined geographic area, such as a group of buildings, neighborhoods, or a district of several miles. Mount Vernon At Home in Virginia covers 14 square miles in Fairfax County. In more densely populated areas the Village may define a smaller geography or reach vertically through high rises.