Village to Village Network Moves Headquarters to St. Louis
Local Executive to Lead International Senior Resource Organization
ST. LOUIS, MO, (January 6, 2015) – The Village to Village Network (VtV Network), an international nonprofit organization promoting the aging-in-community movement, has moved its headquarters to St. Louis, Mo. to better serve its members on both coasts and new villages in the middle of the country. To provide additional support, St. Louis area native Natalie Galucia has been named Director of the VtV Network. The office recently opened in the TechArtista building at 4818 Washington Ave. in the Central West End neighborhood.
The Village to Village Network provides guidance to Villages, non-for-profit membership organizations offering comprehensive support and social engagement to seniors wanting to maintain independence. Villages use trained volunteers and vetted businesses to provide a broad range of services, and members choose which services and activities they desire. This cost-effective model for addressing the needs of an aging population has experienced dramatic growth recently, especially in the Midwest, as more seniors opt to stay home as long as possible. Though each Village operates independently, the groups share best practices through the VtV Network.
Charlottesville Elder Lawyer Doris Gelbman is giving a series of talks at the Senior Center entitled “Aging Gracefully”. The first was on January 14th, the next two are February 24th and March 17th, both at 10:00 a.m. at the Senior Center, 1180 Pepsi Place, Charlottesville. A video of Ms. Gelbman’s first presentation can be viewed on her website www.gelbman-law.com [Click HERE to go directly to that video]
“I’ve felt it’s either get out and do something or sit at home and feel sorry for myself. So if I ever start feeling sorry for myself, I put my shoes on and take a little run somewhere.”
These are the words of 80 year old Anne Garrett, who set a pending American record of 2:13:23 in her 80-84 age group at the Surf City USA Half Marathon in Huntington Beach California. As reported in Runner’s World & Running, Ms. Garrett tells us that “[Running has] made me more aware of who I am and it has helped me not to feel sorry for myself, not to get depressed,” Garrett said.
Running became a way of dealing with the stress of a way of dealing with the stress of her husband’s illness. He suffered from Alzheimer’s for seven years. After he died in 2011, Anne found that running helped her cope with her grief.
A public event of interest:
Senior Crime Prevention Academy
Every Thursday this month
Next Meeting: Thursday, February 5, 2015 at 1:00pm
SENIOR CRIME PREVENTION ACADEMY
Thursdays, January 29, 2015 and February 5, 12,19 & 26: 1:00pm
Officer Steve Watson will be sharing ways for seniors and their families to avoid frauds and scams, avoid identity theft, and improve personal safety. Participants will come away with specific information to help them recognize questionable situations and prevent them from falling victim to crime in these subject areas.
Open to all.
Senior Center 1180 Pepsi Place Charlottesville, VA 22901 for more information call 434-974-7756
The following is an announcement about an upcoming public hearing about the Commonwealth’s Council on Aging Four-Year Plan.
Commonwealth Council on Aging
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT THE COMMONWEALTH COUNCIL ON AGING’S PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE WILL HOLD LISTENING SESSIONS ON THE FOCUS TOPICS OF THE
COMMONWEALTH’S FOUR-YEAR PLAN FOR AGING SERVICES 2015-2019
ON FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2015
(Hearing begins at 10:30 a.m. and will end approximately at 12:30 p.m.)
Switzer Building Large Classroom at the Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center
243 Woodrow Wilson Avenue, Fishersville VA 22939
You can also attend the listening session by video conference at the following four Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) locations:
- DARS Roanoke Roanoke Valley WFC 1351 Hershberger Rd, Suite 205 Roanoke, VA 24012
- DARS Abingdon 468 East Main Street, Suite 200 Abingdon, VA 24210
- DARS Fairfax 11150 Fairfax Blvd., 3rd Flr. Suite 300 Fairfax, VA 22030
- DARS South Hampton Roads (Norfolk) Interstate Corporate Center, Bldg. #7 6340 Center Drive, Suite 101 Norfolk VA 2350
Why do we do it? It’s not for immortality, that’s for sure. We’re old enough to rule that one out.
No, it’s probably some mixture of hope, fear and vanity, layered onto the fact that working out can actually leave one feeling pretty good. Beyond the immediate rewards, though, there are:
Hope that muscle strength and stamina will help us stay independent longer, helping us carry out daily activities in better health. This tactic is central to any personal strategy for aging at home
Fear that being weak will leave us unable to carry our own bags, more likely to fall, more vulnerable to dependending on others.
Vanity about looking good, having good posture, fitting into cute clothes, avoiding “dowager’s hump” (a dated term for ‘kyphosis’), and being able to dance at weddings. Read the rest of this entry
The following article from the Huffington Post talks about the overwhelming desire of folks over 60 to “Age-In-Place” and what changes are needed to make this desire a reality. I don’t feel that we can wait for someone else to make this happen for us. I believe we need to do it ourselves by starting right now to build the Village we want to be there for us when we need a little help.
I think CvilleVillage can work, but we aren’t there yet. There is a lot of interest, but we haven’t yet reached the critical mass or tipping point in terms of energy, commitment and involvement to make it happen. Please read this article and see if it speaks to you. And if the Village idea makes sense to you, please add your comments, and plan to come to the next meeting at 4:00 p.m. on January 23, at the Mary Williams Center.
From The Huffington Post 12/12/2014 By Susan Blumenthal, M.D., M.P.A. and Emma Lape
The baby boom generation is revolutionizing American culture, leaving its mark on every product, service, and institution it touches in the 21st century. As baby boomers grow older, society is transforming as a result with services related to aging including health care, retirement planning, housing, and community life. Consider this: 8,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day.  In 2013, adults over 65 constituted 14 percent of the population in the United States and will account for an estimated 20 percent by 2050.  There are already 55,000 Americans over age 100, and by 2050 the number of centenarians will reach 600,000 — roughly the population of the entire state of Vermont!  What’s more, the baby boom generation is more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation. By 2050, 20 percent of seniors will be Hispanic, 12 percent black, and 9 percent Asian. Women are a majority of seniors, accounting for 57 percent of the U.S. population today and a projected 55 percent of Americans over age 65 by 2050. 
Currently, one of the greatest unmet needs of seniors is the ability to age in place. Today, 93 percent of Americans over 65 live independently in the community, while only 3 percent reside in assisted living facilities and 4 percent in nursing homes. Moreover, studies show that the vast majority of older adults want to age in place. Aging in place can be understood as:
“The ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” 
The concept is a simple one: Increasingly, older adults want to stay in their own homes, neighborhoods, and towns even if this necessitates specialized services to maintain their independence. Read the rest of this entry
“With a Little Help from Our Friends: Creating Community as We Grow Older” – an excerpt
By Beth Baker from the website of the Center for a New American Dream (www.NewDream.org)
Beth Baker is the author of With a Little Help from Our Friends: Creating Community as We Grow Older, which tackles the issues of community and aging in place. Below is an excerpt from Beth’s timely, important new work.
As I was completing the manuscript of [my] book, our neighbor Ann sent an email inviting those of us on our block who are 60 and older to a potluck. She and her husband Merrill wanted to discuss aging in place here in our neighborhood. “I realize that for now, everyone’s mostly healthy and independent, so there might not be too much interest just yet,” she wrote. “But if there is, we’d like to discuss what, if anything, folks have thought about becoming aged, staying in our homes, and building some kind of cooperative network among us.”
We have a close-knit neighborhood, but still, Ann was surprised when 22 people from a three-block area crowded into their living room. Over plates of baked ziti, chicken, and salad, we began a discussion that echoed the themes in the pages of this book. All but one couple, who plan to move to a continuing care retirement community when they reach their early 70s, want to remain on the street. The questions flowed: How would we make our homes accessible? How would we ensure that people felt comfortable asking for help? What kinds of help were reasonable to expect? Should we include the younger families in our network?
What follows is an article about cultural differences between cultures, hypothesizing on a connection between how we think or ourselves and relate to others, and the crops we grow (Wheat vs. Rice).
Wheat vs. Rice: Teamwork, health and cultural inclusiveness could have to do with the crops we grow by Nicole Oran From MedCity News December 4, 2014
Americans and Europeans have a history of growing wheat, as opposed to countries in Asia which primarily grow rice. But what does that have to do with our health, our self-image and how we think about community?
Americans in particular like to think of themselves as autonomous, independent, and this is actually a unique trait compared to other parts of the world, according to anthropologist Clifford Geertz.
Friday November 28’s New York Times featured an article on Villages in their Money section. A youthful septuagenerian who was beginning to worry about the isolation he envisioned were he to stay in his home as he aged, and who didn’t want to have to rely on his daughters, presents a very realistic assessment of the value proposition a village can offer. He viewed it as a kind of “life insurance”, where you purchase it before you need it, and where you can tap into it as you need it. He has found new friends, has access to volunteers to assist him when and as he needs it, and has new social outlets he’d not previously envisioned.
I am a youthful sextuagenerian. I still work full time, get at least thirty minutes of cardio exercise each day, and I still drive at night, but I am beginning to think about retirement. I’ve begun to see friends move away to live in closer proximity to their children, to scan the obituaries where I do find that some of my peers have passed away, to use the nieghborhood teenagers to complete some of the more physicaly taxing homeowner tasks like mowing the grass and raking the leaves. I want a Village in place when I reach retirement in a few years, so I can ease into this Brave New World with enthusiasm and reap joy. My gym membership costs me about eighty dollars a month, far less than the cost of physical therapy co-pays which I’d very likely have to pay otherwise. I’d be delighted to spend a similar amount to be assured of the support I’ll one day need to stay in my home when I can no longer drive at night, or climb stepladders in order to change light bulbs inside and out.
A long-time friend came over for brunch over the weekend (she no longer drives at night), and she invited herself to come along to our Christmas celebration planned for New York. I was delighted– another person to engage in Scrabble games, to make a fourth for bridge, perhaps. I want my Village to facilitate those activities and others in my home and in the homes of others. I want my Village to help a small group of friends go out for dinner, or to a football game, or to host a movie night.
Click HERE to go read the article. What’s a Village worth to you?