Video of the Week: It Takes Villages

Are you among the majority of older Americans who want to stay put as they grow older? How do you plan to cope when it gets harder to take care of grocery shopping, when you can no longer climb on a chair to change a lightbulb, when you’re convalescing? And how will you stay actively engaged?

As Judith Willett explains in this TEDx talk, these are some of the dilemmas that the burgeoning Village movement addresses. A solution designed and operated by elders for elders, the “village” model is a mutual support system of neighbors helping neighbors. It’s built around shared resources, social connections and plenty of volunteers.

Willett is the national director of the Village to Village Network, which helps seniors to create villages and encourages villages to share information. In her talk, she outlines how the movement can revolutionize how we age by helping us to stay in our homes and remain part of our communities. And through stories of seniors who have managed to cope thanks to village support, she paints a picture of the day-to-day workings of one of the fastest growing alternatives to assisted living.

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