AARP research has found that nearly 90% of older adults want to stay in their homes rather than moving to assisted living or moving in with relatives. Yet, approximately one-third of Americans will spend time in a nursing home. Ten thousand people turn 65 every day, and Denver is considered the country’s Baby-Boomer capital, with Boomers constituting over 30% of Denver Metro’s total population of 2.4 million people.
The Village Method model is the nonprofit sector’s response to this reality, and A Little Help is tailoring this model to operate more intergenerationally, as a community for all ages. With an aging population and shrinking resources, A Little Help bridges the gap by connecting neighbors; the more of these connections we can make, the less government service will be needed to care for seniors. A Little Help can also partner with long-term care facilities to create realistic short- and long-term care plans for our members. We’re striving for a balance of idealism and pragmatism- our model has a sound philosophical basis, while saving money in practice; we’re able to increase safety and health for older adults by using resources that are already in each community- good neighbors.
Research conducted by AARP and the Blue Zones project, which studies areas of earth where people live the longest, shows that those who live longer, healthier lives have close relationships with their neighbors and continually find new purpose as they age. These studies also indicate that interdependence across generations is crucial. In our adaptation of the Village model, we have joined organizations such as Communities for All Ages and Generations United, which help us meet our mission and grow toward our vision.