As grassroots organizations of older adults, The Villages are based on the idea of neighbors helping neighbors. But having been around for 15 years, the national Village movement faces a new challenge. These communities are wrestling with the limits of neighborly help when it comes to members’ increasing physical challenges or cognitive loss.
“Villages still think of their members as friends, not as clients, but they’re acknowledging there are these transitions in life you’re going to go through,” says Natalie Galucia, director of the national Village-to-Village Network. “They’re realizing if they really do want to take care of one another, they’re going to have to address those changing needs.”