“Nauset Neighbors volunteer Frank Bridges, 66, changed the batteries in a smoke detector for Ann Miller, 79, seated with Judy Gordon, on July 3.” – Christine Hochkeppel for the Boston Globe
by Robert Weisman
“BREWSTER — When it got too hot for her to sleep with a fan and she could no longer lift her air conditioner, 79-year-old Ann Miller turned to her village.
“Not her bayside town on the Lower Cape, but Nauset Neighbors, a grass-roots network of seniors dedicated to helping other seniors live independently. The volunteer members of Nauset, one of more than 15 self-styled “villages” statewide, draw inspiration from the ethic of small-town New England life in an earlier era, when folks looked after one another.
“Miller’s request for help was answered by Frank Bridges, who pulled up to her modest town house in his pickup truck on a sweltering July morning. Bridges, 66, a retired banker who lives across town, greeted Miller and went straight to work. He removed her window screen, set the air conditioner in place, and screwed it in securely. Before he left, Bridges, who is 6-foot-5, also replaced three of her smoke alarm batteries without aid of a stepladder.”
In Lancaster County, Lancaster Downtowners is a village concept. “Downtowners are organizing to provide cost effective services for themselves and others who desire to remain in their homes and urban neighborhoods rather than move to more conventional retirement communities.”
“How ‘villages’ help seniors age at home” – The Brookings Institution
“The Village to Village Network is the essential tool that enables community members to build and sustain thriving Villages. The Network creates interactions that connect Villages with resources, education and expertise.”