New Grant-Supported Study Focused on Feasibility of Establishing Village Living Model in Central Florida

The Winter Park Health Foundation (WPHF), through its Older Adults Work Group, recently approved a $25,027 grant to the Senior Resource Alliance (SRA) to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether the “village living” model could be adapted locally.

The village living model is premised on the idea that older adults want to age in place; in their own neighborhood and in their own home. In order to do so safely, many need a variety of services to help them with tasks they no longer can perform. Such services can be related to health, transportation, home repairs, household tasks, home modifications, etc.

Under the village living model, an organization (usually a non-profit), prescreens service providers and acts as a clearinghouse for referrals to its members. For an annual fee, members gain access to these providers who in turn offer a discount on their services.

The first village was established in Boston in 2001. Beacon Hill village was created by a group of long-term Beacon Hill residents as an alternative to moving from their homes to retirement communities such as assisted living facilities. Now, more than 50 villages have sprung up across the U.S., though Florida has only one which is operational in Coral Gables.

The SRA grant will enable a consultant to research existing villages, compile a report of those findings, then begin local conversations to determine if the village model is right for our community.

“Given all the positive press associated with this movement in recent years, it will be interesting to see if this is something that makes sense for older adults living in Central Florida,” said Diana Silvey, WPHF Program Director-Older Adults. “We are most anxious to see the results.”

The six-month grant is expected to conclude by September 30, 2011 and the study will be available at that time.