Seniors all over America want to remain in their homes, even though some errands, chores, and an active social life become harder as they age. For some, as daily life becomes a bit more difficult, the solution might be moving to a retirement or assisted-living community or hiring caregivers. For others, the solution can be the Village Movement, which has sprung up to help seniors live purposely, independently, safely, and socially in their own homes.
The very first Village—Beacon Hill Village—began in Boston over 20 years ago, built on the Idea that together we grow stronger. Today there are more than 350 Villages, all working collaboratively with other local resources. Seaglass Village was inspired by the Village Movement and is a proud member of the Village to Village Network, which helps communities like ours establish local Villages. Like other Villages, we encourage members to volunteer to help other members; we also encourage non-members to volunteer.
Seaglass Village, which opened December 1, 2021, is a community of seniors in Marblehead, Nahant, and Swampscott helping each other maintain their independence while aging in place. Members get help with chores and errands; they can request convenient transportation to appointments and shopping; they're offered a wide array of social events; and, if they want, they can also volunteer to assist others. Here's an (incomplete) list of things volunteers can help with:
View a printable brochure
The Swampscott for all Ages Community Needs Assessment of 2019 recommended establishing a regional Village to meet the need for coordinated, affordable aging in place services for older adults. It was clear that the conclusions of Swampscott's report were applicable to the neighboring communities. In June of 2020 a steering committee was formed with residents of Marblehead and Swampscott to begin work on our very own village. By the end of September, 2020 we had created the framework for the Seaglass Village and elected a Board of Directors.
The abstract of that report states:
By the year 2030, 35% of Swampscott residents will be age 60 and older. In response to this demographic shift as well as in response to the desire of most residents to remain living in their community, the resident leaders of Swampscott, with support of the Town, have embarked on the journey to become a more age friendly community. They call themselves the Swampscott for All Ages Committee. The Swampscott for All Ages initiative is meant to ensure that Swampscott is and remains a place where older adults can comfortably and safely age in place. It is a resident-led committee with strong municipal support. This report describes research undertaken by the Center for Social & Demographic Research on Aging within the Gerontology Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston, on behalf of the Swampscott for All Ages Committee and the Town of Swampscott, to investigate the needs, interests, preferences, and opinions of Swampscott’s residents age 60 and older. Structured around livability principles embedded in the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Community framework, the Swampscott for All Ages initiative considers physical infrastructure as well as social and service environments as it seeks to strengthen livability for Swampscott’s older residents. The contents of this report are designed to inform the Swampscott for All Ages Committee as it develops a plan for action to address the needs identified; and also intersect with and advise other ongoing efforts, including the development of the Swampscott Master Plan. This work also aligns with Governor Baker’s plan for an Age Friendly State.
Coyle, Caitlin; Mutchler, Jan; Velasco, Nidya; Berger, Sue; and Mailman, Rebecca, "Swampscott for All Ages: A Community Needs Assessment" (2019). Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging Publications. 38.
View the full Swampscott report
We are a proud member of the national Village to Village Network, an organization helping communities all across the United States establish Villages. We were honored to have Heidi Whear present at the national Village to Village Conference in October 2019 about the relationship of the Seaglass Village and Swampscott for All Ages Town Initiative within AARP's Age Friendly Movement.
More information about the Village to Village Network