Learn more about the aging-in-place concept and determine whether a village is right for you.
A Brief Village History
In 1999, a group of neighborhood friends met to talk about their community – Beacon Hill in Boston – and their desire to stay put and remain independent at home as they aged. To do this, they concluded neighbors would need to help each other.
After two years of planning, Beacon Hill Village began providing “neighbor helping neighbor” assistance in 2002.
The success of Beacon Hill has served as an inspiring model for villages nationwide, including Little Falls Village.
There are about 150 villages operating nationwide with another 100 in various stages of development. In the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, there are about 50 operating or developing villages. Click here to see a list of local villages.
Click here to learn more about the national village movement by visiting the Village to Village Network website. This network is based out of Arlington, Virginia, and represents villages nationwide. Click here to see if there’s a village in your area.
What is an aging-in-place village?
An aging-in-place village is a nonprofit membership organization that provides services to older members who prefer to live independently at home rather than relocate to an assisted living or other similar facility.
Aging in place is seen by many as an attractive, low-cost alternative to moving into unfamiliar surroundings at a time of life when familiarity with neighbors and physical space is especially important.
What intangible benefits do villages offer?
- Companionship: making new friends; getting together with neighbors to have coffee, play cards, chat and socialize; and enjoying a sense of belonging to a caring community.
- Satisfaction: volunteering and helping those who need assistance from a neighbor.
What services does Little Falls Village offer?
A list of principal services would typically include:
- transportation for doctors’ appointments, grocery shopping and routine errands;
- light household tasks, such as minor repairs, collecting mail and watering plants;
- simple bookkeeping, mail management and computer assistance; and companionship to those most in need.
For services that volunteers cannot provide, Little Falls Village will help members identify professionals who can do the work.
This range of services is typical of most villages.
Who provides the services and who receives them?
Principal services include:
- Transportation to doctors’ appointments and grocery stores and for routine errands.
- Light household tasks, such as minor repairs, collecting mail and watering plants.
- Simple bookkeeping, mail management and computer assistance.
- Companionship to those most in need.
For services that volunteers cannot provide, Little Falls Village helps members identify professionals who can do the work.
Which services are most popular?
The great majority of services involves transportation for those who do not drive. The graph below shows the number of services Little Falls Village provided in 2014.
Who receives services and who provides them?
There is no set age for joining a village, but a range of age 50-80 is typical.
Younger, more able members volunteer to provide services to older, less able members, which encourages the aging-in-place idea to flourish.
Village members who start out volunteering are likely to end up receiving services as they grow older – neighbors helping neighbors.
Volunteers’ backgrounds are checked, and each is trained, covered by insurance and supervised by a manager.
How much is a Little Falls Village membership?
Most villages in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area charge $350 to $550 annually for single memberships and $600 to $800 annually for family memberships.
At Little Falls Village, the annual Full Membership fee is $350 for a household of one and $700 for a household of two or more. Because services are provided, none of this fee is tax deductible. A full member receives all services and can participate in all social activities and events.
The annual fee for the Associate Membership is $250. Associate members can participate in all social events and activities, but are not eligible for any of the services. Because these members receive no services, $200 of the membership fee is tax deductible.
Annual Village-Plus Memberships are $100 for individuals with an income of $40,000 or less and $200 per household of two or more seniors when the household income is $50,000 or less. Village-Plus members are eligible to receive services and participate in all Village events. Little Falls Village can offer no cost Village-Plus memberships in certain circumstances. Please call Todd Smith at the Village office to discuss.
How is Little Falls Village defined geographically?
Little Falls Village boundaries extend from Western Avenue (the district line) to Goldsboro Road, and from River Road to MacArthur Boulevard. Little Falls Village accepts membership from anyone living in the Bethesda 20816 ZIP code.