Nevada City, CA October 16, 2019 – “My dream is that no one in our community has to go through the latter part of their lives alone,” said Sierra Foothills Village Vice-President Dr. George Scarmon. The Sierra Foothills Village staff and volunteers are working to make that dream a reality. After years of careful preparation, the Sierra Foothills Village–a unique nonprofit dedicated to helping seniors stay in their homes and maintain connection with their communities– launched this week in Nevada County.
The “Village” concept is not unique, with more than 400 established nationwide and 65 in California alone. These networks form “virtual villages” that can help combat isolation by providing access to social activities and by assisting with a variety of household challenges, so members can continue to live life, have fun, and feel safe. Studies show members of these “villages” are able to remain living in their own homes 7-10 years longer than other people.
In Nevada County, Sierra Foothills Village focuses on personal relationships with members. They match carefully vetted volunteers and professionals with seniors who need rides, small household chores, pet care, and other non-medical assistance at home. The Village uses special software, enabling a single point of connection between volunteers and those needing services.
Executive Director Erin Noel said, “We are more like a neighborhood or a family, and less like an agency. We hope to work with other agencies to cover giant gaps in service for seniors who want to live in their own homes for as long as possible.”
For example, while Nevada County boasts excellent emergency preparedness services, there is a gap in emergency preparedness training for seniors and people with disabilities. To solve this problem, Sierra Foothills Village will collaborate with seven area nonprofits to help seniors and people with disabilities prepare for emergencies. Noel added, “We hope to use the unique ‘village’ model to improve emergency preparedness for isolated older adults.” Information on emergency preparedness that is specific to seniors and people with disabilities can be found on their website at www.sierrafoothillsvillage.org.
Ann Guerra, the Executive Director of 211/Connecting Point, said, “Sierra Foothills Village is a great example of a community coming together in mutual support. It helps personally educate their members to use services like ours, as part of a larger effort to live healthy, independent lives as they age.”
Sierra Foothills Village will begin providing services this week to a small number of initial members. Each participant pays a monthly membership fee. For more information, including how to become a member, or to get involved, go to www.sierrafoothillsvillage.org or call 530-205-3326.
Become a member of Sierra Foothills Village or volunteer! Both help the aging process to be a more rewarding and enjoyable experience.