Twelve years ago, a handful of older residents living in a tiny section in Boston gathered to figure out a way they could “age in place” in the neighborhood they so dearly loved.
After months of meetings and fundraising, they launched the Beacon Hill Village, a nonprofit membership organization that provides free or low-cost services to seniors who have chosen to live in their own homes.
The services include social clubs, weekly exercise classes and lectures, transportation to doctors’ offices and grocery stores and access to reduced-fee home medical care and home repair services.
Beacon Hill Village now boasts 400 members and the concept has spread to other communities across the country. There are about 100 “villages” to date, with another 200 in development, according to the national organization that helps establish these networks. Each one is formed and governed locally, tailored to the specific needs of that community.