Long before the words "assisted living" enter our vocabulary, there's a deep need for "thriving in motion" and aging better. In this space of life, older adults are satisfied and happy living on their own, yet might need help with the little things (like recovering from an injury or wanting to free up time to do the things they love). GoodLife focuses on connecting people and creating Vibrant Village, a low-cost, social support network within the Sorrento community in Overland Park, Kansas, to sustain people in their homes longer. At Vibrant Village neighbors help neighbors to provide extra support, friendship, and independence.
Vibrant Village is a new, volunteer-run program that lays the groundwork for community living, making it easy to ask for and offer help. From any device, an Uber-like platform allows residents to choose the service they need from a menu, send a request, and have the service fulfilled by a neighbor. Volunteer residents get daily emails of what needs exist around them and can choose when and how they want to help.
At the National Village to Village Conference in 2018, Kate Hopke said that Villages are "intentional caring communities built on principles of reciprocity and core social values" like empathy, respect, and optimism. The Vibrant Village helps fill the gap between what older adults need and what they can afford. This is critical as approximately 85% of unmet social needs directly contribute critically to health and wellbeing. The program is a reliable access point for social care that helps residents cross things off their to-do list while feeling seen, heard, and valued.
For many residents, asking for help can be challenging. Family often carries the weight of favors and daily tasks. Vibrant Village offers the opportunity to ask for assistance while preserving family dynamic. Not only can residents get the most out of time with loved ones, but they can also build new relationships and propel a culture of community.
Residents receiving services aren't the only ones who benefit from Vibrant Village. At its core, the value of Vibrant Village is not only in what participants do, but why they do it. The program encourages residents to get involved on both ends of the program, contributing and receiving services to encourage a thriving environment of independent--and better yet, interdependent--living.
Vibrant Village is part of the national Village to Village Network where grassroots villages like this are gaining national momentum and are designed to help members experience reduced isolation, increased independence, and enhanced purpose of life. GoodLife currently offers support to residents of an existing 273-unit, 55+ community. An additional 500 units are currently in development across the street and GoodLife aims to expand the Vibrant Village to support residents at Sorrento II in 2020.
We are determined to make it as easy as possible for people with needs (that's all of us!) to ask for help. Through monthly social engagements, Vibrant Village brings neighbors together and creates an environment for people to make connections and build trust with those around them, helping them to feel more comfortable asking for help when needed. All funds raised will help support crucial monthly educational, social and community service engagements such as our monthly Eat/Learn/Grow events, charity events, group community service activities and more! Individual and matched donations raised through this online campaign will help purchase supplies needed for these events as well as sponsor at least one annual membership for a senior in need.
Senior Community Services HOME program empowers older adults to stay in their home and community that they've grown with, because these are places that allow them to continue to live healthy, connected, vibrant lives. All they need is a little help.
Most seniors live alone in a single-family home that they own, and want to remain in their home and community. While it may be more affordable for most older adults to remain in their home, upkeep of that home becomes increasingly financially draining as homeowners age and require assistance. The Center for Housing Policy found that low-income older adults often spend 50% or more of their limited income on home maintenance.
Last year, we helped over 1,300 older adults realize their dream of remaining in their homes and communities by alleviating their most common barrier: financial burden. Without this stress, older adults can focus on living a robust life. Additionally, our dedicated workers and community volunteers interact personally with those we serve and help to alleviate the isolation that many older adults face, contributing to physical and emotional wellbeing.
We know that there are very real emotional, social and health benefits for an older adult that ages in place. But keeping seniors at home and out of segregated senior housing is also the smart move financially for all of us.
Most private health insurance doesn't cover the long-term care of assisted living or nursing homes, meaning seniors often have to pay out of pocket. With limited or no income, many older adults then quickly have to rely on federal programs such as Medicaid to afford those services. These programs are paid for with taxpayer dollars.
Senior Community Services empowers low-income older adults to remain living independently by providing them with high-quality chore and maintenance services that allow them to age in place. Services such as housekeeping, snow shoveling and winter weatherization, grass cutting and leaf raking, plumbing and electrical repairs, and home safety improvements are absolutely essential for keeping an older adult safe and happy at home.
Older adults are an integral social and cultural component of the communities in which they live, and we all benefit when we work together to keep older Minnesotans in their homes. With your generous help, it costs Senior Community Services just $600 a year to keep an older adult in their own home and community, and out of segregated senior housing. We all age.
Music has the power to unlock memories and spark joy. More than 75% of our members live with Alzheimer's disease or other dementia related illnesses, and music therapy is an important part of our programming. For adults living with memory loss, music may be one of the only ways to connect to the world they once knew.
The effects of music on the brain translate into life-changing benefits for our members with memory loss. Listening and participating in music therapy has the power to pull those affected out of isolation, gives them a way to express emotion and exercises the mind. A recent study shows that dementia and Alzheimer's patients can recall memories and emotions, and have enhanced mental performance after singing classic hits and show tunes from movies and musicals. Orchard House will use Give65 funds to expand music therapy and the other expressive arts programming that enhances our members' ability to communicate.
Your donated dollars provide direct hands on care for our most vulnerable and valuable neighbors. Approximately $25 provides one hour of care and $1000 dollars provides a CareGift for a senior in need. Each CareGift is approximately 40 hours of non medical in home care to a senior who is isolated and alone. Providing this CareGift prolongs life and independence.