Roughly one in five Americans over the age of 65 is living alone with little or no support system.
“There is potentially no structure to address this population as this population is hidden right before us,” writes Dr. Maria Carney, who calls the group elder orphans because they are aging alone and unsupported, with no known family member or designated surrogate to act on their behalf. “Our goal is to highlight that this is a vulnerable population that’s likely to increase, and we need to determine what community, social services, emergency response and educational resources can help them.”
THE VILLAGE MODEL
Neighbors Caring for Neighbors! Villages are consumer-driven, grassroots community-based organizations. Villages are formed through a cadre of caring neighbors who want to change the paradigm of aging. Through their efforts, local Villages become the foundation for connecting members to a full range of support services to help with non-medical household tasks, services, programs and transportation. Villages promote staying active by coordinating recreational, social, educational and cultural programs. These social activities minimize isolation and promotes interaction amongst their peers.