Villages “are a promising community model to enhance the social engagement, independence, and well-being of community-dwelling older adults.” 

Source: UC Berkeley, School of Social Welfare.

Between 2006 and 2030, the U.S. population of adults aged 65+ will nearly double from 37 million to 71.5 million people.

Source: Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being. Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics

More than 50 percent of non-drivers over age 65 do not leave home most days, partly because of a lack of transportation options.

Source: Aging in Place: A State Survey of Livability Policies and Practices, December 2011

The number of villages is increasing because the population of people over 65 is rapidly increasing. According to the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, the population of seniors in the U.S. will almost double between 2006 and 2030. Seniors will make up 20% of the U.S. population by 2050. At the same time, public services are being reduced and many communities are completely unprepared to handle the housing, medical, social, transportation and other needs of its citizens as they age. Villages are helping to fill this gap.

 

UC Berkeley Research on Villages

Villages have already attracted a good deal of interest, from AARP and the White House Council on Aging to several research institutions. These agencies and organizations are generating hard data from research which is measuring village effectiveness and spurring new attitudes toward how we view aging.

Villages are the subject of a multi-year study by the University of California (UC), Berkeley, School of Social Welfare. In one recent study of 282 members in five California villages, 75% of the participants reported that village membership increased their ability to age in place. It also reduced social isolation, improved well-being, and increased confidence to remain living in the community.

The UC Berkeley preliminary study of village members found:

  • 92% felt a sense of belonging
  • 54% felt more connected
  • 87% liked having someone to call for getting help
  • 55% called and were able to get more help
"A study of village members found that 87% liked having someone to call for getting help."  University of California, Berkeley, School of Social Welfare

Please click on any of the following links to learn more about villages across the United States:

Boston Globe

NBC video news story by Brian Williams

PBS video special by Ray Suarez about Beacon Hill Village

NY Times

Huffington Post

Money Talk News

Please visit Village to Village Network to learn about this movement on a national scale. The website includes access to many other articles and stories.