Can Door County become a “Village”?

The Village Movement is an innovative movement in communities that coordinates services for older adults.  Villages are one of the most promising options to cope with the upcoming “Graying of America” dilemma.  The Village Movement began in 1999 with a group of older adults in Boston that wanted to live in their own homes while staying engaged in social activities within their neighborhood.  

This group of older adults recognized the need for support in the future and didn’t want to rely on existing solutions such as nursing homes, retirement communities, and hired helpers.  As a result, the Village Movement was born with the idea of being active and supporting others with the same needs and outlook.

Twenty years later, there are more than 300 Villages across the nation and many others in development that have proven that seniors aspire to age independently in their communities with the Village model.  The Village Movement allows seniors to be part of the community and find a purposeful way to age. Despite the rapid growth of Villages around the country, there are still some essential features needed to give seniors the ability to remain in their own homes.

UC Berkeley Professor Scharlach, one of the most prestigious scholars in the field of social welfare, analyzed the Village model and concluded that “Villages represent a promising new model, with the potential for positively affecting seniors in ways that may reduce social isolation, expand access to services, increase well-being, and increase seniors’ confidence in their ability to age in their homes.

You can learn more about the village concept at

Can Door County become a Village? There are so many opportunities for our communities and the county as a whole to be a Village. We already have the culture of volunteerism and pride for our home towns. And we have organizations ready to help usher in a new era of living in Door County. At our upcoming forums, we will be talking about this and other initiatives that may offer a means for all our residents to “age with ease”. Be sure to join us at one of the sessions near you…