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Villages NW supports elders who wish to age at home in the Greater Portland metro area. When we are young, we take for granted our abilities to accomplish things - seeing to simple chores around the house, getting around in our community, even visiting friends. As we grow older, things become more challenging. Villages NW bridges the gap with age-friendly resources, volunteers, and an expanded network of friends close to home.
The Village Movement is a holistic approach to vibrant, healthy aging. It combines a meaningful purpose in life; finding new friends as we begin to lose spouses and see less of long-time friends and neighbors; familiar surroundings; and preserving financial assets against the day when a higher level of care might be necessary. In addition to these quality of life issues, Villages fill gaps in support and services, which enable older adults to live independently.
In the past 3 years, our local Village Movement has grown from one open Village with 30 members to 7 open Villages with 500 members and 500 volunteers in the greater Portland metro area. Three more Villages are in development in Lake Oswego/West Linn, Milwaukie and Oregon City.
Villagers are members rather than clients. About half volunteer in some way whether it is driving someone to the doctor, doing a little yard work, checking in with a member who is mostly homebound, working on activities or doing Village support.
In one week a member who no longer drives received rides from 3 different volunteers. On Tuesday one volunteer drove him to get a manicure with stops on the way home at a Thai restaurant and the bank. On Friday another volunteer ensured he got a haircut before the third volunteer delivered him to the airport on Saturday to catch a flight to visit family.