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Opinion: Help Plan Lamorinda Village

Letter to the editor: Take a survey to inform the vision of a nonprofit Village membership program to help the community's over-65 population remain independent.

By Kathleen Phillips Satz

With an over-65 population of around 10,500, the Lamorinda community has a clear opportunity to help its residents remain independent and safe in their homes as they age. Many among us want to enjoy an active, healthy life without moving away from our neighborhoods. To address this need, a group of volunteers has begun exploring the possibility of creating Lamorinda Village.

The Lamorinda Village Task Force is now moving forward from the needs assessment phase to the development of a formal Village organization.
A Village is a local, community-based nonprofit membership program that provides a wide range of services determined by members' needs and funded by an annual fee. The first Village was formed in Boston nearly 10 years ago, and there are now 90 such Villages operating throughout the country, with 150 more in development.

Each Village determines the mix of services it will coordinate, such as health and wellness assistance, daily living services like transportation and shopping for groceries, organized social activities, continuing education opportunities, organized physical activities, and financial services. The annual membership fee entitles members to some services free of charge, while other services are offered at discounted prices or on a priority basis through third parties that have been vetted by the Village.

The Lamorinda Village Task Force has created a survey to help set priorities for developing the array of services and resources our Village might offer.  We want to know what’s most needed – is it help with meal preparation, transportation, opportunities for social interaction, or referral to a great handyman? How many Lamorinda seniors would be interested in joining? How much is reasonable for the annual membership fee?

Whether you are in your sixties, seventies, eighties or older, or are concerned about someone in that age group, your input is important as the Task Force moves forward to develop a Village organization that meets the needs of our unique communities.

Please follow this link to complete the survey on line: kwiksurveys.com/app/rendersurvey.asp?sid=93gud5adtv9inxr1086

If you are unable to complete the survey online and need a paper survey, or would like more information about the Lamorinda Village (including how you can help our Village become reality), please write to Lamorinda Village, PO Box 57, Lafayette, CA 94549. 

For more general information about the Village concept, go to www.vtvnetwork.org

Kathleen Phillips Satz is a 30-year Orinda resident who has recently joined the Lamorinda Village Task Force.

lovelafayette January 16, 2013 at 03:25 PM
Lamorindavillage@comcast.net The email address should have been in the article, not just on the survey. Seniors should be encouraged at every opportunity to use technology to stay in touch, order services, stay safe. There is a well documented information gap in this group that Lamorinda Village should address from day one.

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