Several people sent me the same article from this Sunday’s New York Times: Retirees Turn to Virtual Villages for Mutual Support. They all knew that I’m interested in, and working on, the creation of “virtual assisted living” solutions. The article describes “Virtual Villages” – most of these are part of the Village-to-Village Network, which started with the creation of the Beacon Hill Village in 2001. What interests me about this grass roots movement to create senior-to-senior support networks around the country and around the world are three things:
- It’s a great example of customer-driven innovation. Seniors are banding together to create the same services they would enjoy if they moved to a purpose-built senior living community, but without moving out of their own homes.
- It speaks to my condition. I just turned 65, my husband is older than me, and my mom is older still. We are figuring out the best living and support arrangements for aging with grace.
- I’m now immersed in such a grass roots effort in my own community (which is the topic of my article this week). Among other things, we’re trying to decide whether to join the Village-to-Village Network or take our own path.
In future articles, we’ll describe some of the lessons learned from the Village-to-Village movement, and I’ll keep you posted on our own efforts in Boothbay, Maine. If you’re involved in similar efforts for and with your own family members and communities, feel free to reach out.