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  • Writer's pictureLinda A Curtis, LMSW

The "Village Movement"

The Marbletown SSIP-209 chapter (clockwise from bottom left): ViVi Hlavsa, Susan Curcio, Marlene Castro, Craig McKernin, Laurie Silver, Millie Meyer, M. Wilson, Nancy Foutz and Florence J. Staats. (Photo by Lauren Thomas)(

In 2002 the "Villages Movement" was born when a group of aging friends in Beacon Hill (Boston, Massachusetts) gathered together to support each other and assist one another to be able to age successfully in their home communities.

Villages are self-governing, grassroots, membership based, nonprofit organizations (usually 501(c)(3)) run by volunteers, (occasionally with paid staff). Villages are by nature geographically based so the seniors can actively and physically help each other.

Today there are more than 350 such "villages" across the country. In New York State you an see if there is a village close to you at the Capital Regions Villages Cooperative. One of these is right here in Dutchess County and is one of the most successful - "Rhinebeck at Home" . But these are not the only senior communities popping up, forming around the same time other seniors were gathering together in Ulster County, New York to form "SSIP 209" or "Settled and Serving in Place" networks. These are the same idea of a "Village" but more informal. In my own town of Clinton in north eastern Dutchess County I belong to SSIP-Taconic. It is a wonderful little organization that is dedicated to its members. SSIP 209 even made it into the local news today!

Nationally you can find out much more information about senior villages at the "Village to Village Network" . A short video helps to explain:

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