What is a Village?
Given the choice, most people want to age in place, in the neighborhoods where they have built their lives. Older adults and their families deserve options that allow them to age as they would like—with dignity, autonomy, and community. As we age, simple tasks (driving, shopping, changing a light bulb) become tricky, or even hazardous.
A village is a network of neighbors helping neighbors – a community-based, grassroots, non-profit organization providing support services and social and educational programs needed to help older adults stay in their homes and remain active in their communities.
The village movement started in the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts in 1999. Neighbors began helping neighbors “age in place” with transportation, simple home repairs and tasks, and offering friendly connections. Today there are more than 350 villages, including ANV, open or in development around the U.S.
Seniors aging in place need a support system that is easy to access, emotionally supportive, and cost-effective. Their families and caregivers need respite and peace of mind. Villages use volunteer labor to fill gaps in assistance for seniors wanting to stay in their own homes as they age. Villages play an important role in making our community stronger by empowering older adults of all income levels to live independent, vibrant lives as they age.
Arlington Neighborhood Village was born from discussions amongst a small group of Arlingtonians on how to remain in the community they love as they aged. The group identified the village movement as a model for Arlington, incorporated ANV as a nonprofit in Virginia in July 2013, and successfully applied to the IRS for nonprofit status in 2014.
Since 2014, ANV has grown from an idea between friends to a thriving village with over 355 members. More than 200 active volunteers directly serve members.
ANV volunteers provide direct services to our members and create and manage social engagements to reduce isolation and foster a sense of connection and engagement with the community. ANV members pay a yearly fee which covers a portion of our operating expenses and receive services including: errands, transportation, friendly visits, daily check-ins, household help, technology assistance, and many social gatherings and opportunities for meaningful connection.
ANV serves all of Arlington with members ranging in age from 58 to 98. Members live in neighborhoods throughout the county and represent a diverse range of interests and needs, cultural and racial backgrounds, and economic circumstances. Our work improves the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of older adults in our community.
To enable older adults to continue living safely, independently, and with an enhanced quality of life in their own homes and communities as they age by providing access to support services and social programs.
Arlington Neighborhood Village is an essential piece of the social safety net for seniors in Arlington, providing volunteer services for older adults from all segments of the community and collaborating with the County and senior-serving organizations to make aging in place possible for those who want it. ANV is a trusted source of information and insights relevant to aging-in-place and Arlington’s aging population.