Villages are local, geographically-centered, volunteer-led organizations that bring people together and coordinate volunteer help to support aging-in-place using a neighbor-helping-neighbor model. Villages create a space for members to stay connected, engaged, and active in the community.
Examples of how village volunteers support their members may include:
- Social activities and friendly visits to reduce isolation
- Light home chores after a hospitalization
- Picking up prescriptions and transportation to medical appointments
Suburban Hospital promotes healthy aging through a portfolio of comprehensive initiatives, programs, events, and classes. In 2016, Suburban further enhanced its support of aging initiatives by establishing the Village Ambassador Alliance (VAA). Its goal is to advance the common mission of helping community members successfully age-in-place.
The Village Ambassador Alliance has created a space for Villages to support health and well-being through: creating communication channels, delivering health education and training, and the effective utilization of community resources. Since its inception, the VAA has issued two rounds of Wellness Grant funding and offered six forums during which speakers from specialty health fields provided educational lectures in support of topics to help adults age independently and gracefully in their own homes.
Examples of forum topics are below.
- What Is a Hospitalist?
- What to Expect During a Hospital Stay?
- Redefining Aging
- Embrace Your Age
- Rethinking How We Age
- Neurology of Loss
Suburban Hospital invites any new or existing Village to join the Village Ambassador Alliance. One to two members of Village leadership will be included on a VAA listserv to stay connected to upcoming events and resources, and may share those resources widely with their members. If interested, please contact Kate McGrail.
In addition to Suburban Hospital’s Village Ambassador Alliance, Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services has a robust set of resources on the Village movement in the county. If you or someone you know would like to know if their neighborhood already has a Village in existence, please type your address in the map.