The Village Movement
What is a "village"? In the context of the village movement, a village is a virtual concept or simply a shared idea. A village is a way of life for people 50+ who are open to meeting new people and making new friends; people who want to remain socially connected, active, and involved in their communities; and, people who enjoy intergenerational engagement and learning.
While it is commonly believed that the first virtual "village" started in Beacon Hill (Boston), MA. in 2002 when Beacon Hill Village accepted its first member, in fact, the seed of the village movement began in 1992 in Princeton, NJ. Four friends with knowledge in research, social work, and gerontology got together. Through their work they knew that continuing social support is a key component of aging well and actively living longer in better health so they began to sow the seeds of a virtual village.
There are currently over 300 virtual villages of people age 50 + around the United States. Each village varies according to the wishes and lifestyles of their members, however, they all have the common goal of supporting adults to remain in their own homes even as they develop chronic illnesses and/or one of the many illnesses that cause dementia including Lyme Disease.
Villages are redefining what it means to age-in-place. Villages are providing new and exciting ways to remain actively involved in social and cultural activities in their community, meeting new people, making new friends and continuing to maintain a strong social support network.