Aging by the Numbers

Dr. John Cacioppo, a neuroscientist and psychologist at the University of Chicago, has been studying social isolation for 30 years. One frightening finding is that feelings of loneliness are linked to poor cognitive performance and quicker cognitive decline. We evolved to be a social species– it’s hard-wired into our brains, and when we don’t meet that need, it can have physical and neurological effects.--University of Chicago


Studies show that most adults — nearly 79 percent — who need long-term care live at home or in community settings, not in an institution. And, while as many as two-thirds of the caregivers in one national study used unpaid caregiver help, more than one-third used paid help. The number of individuals using paid long-term care services in any setting (for example, at home, in residential care such as assisted living, or in skilled nursing facilities) is estimated to double from 13 million in 2000 to 27 million people in 2050, due to the growth in population of older people who need care.


Frequently Asked Questions

We have fielded many questions about the Village Movement and how Villages function.  Here are the more commonly asked questions that tend to fall into the following categories: benefits,  services, funding, development phase activities, and how decisions are made.


1What are the benefits of getting involved now?

By participating in the work of the Planning Team during the development phase of North Star Village, you have the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate with others in shaping the policies, services, programs and activities offered by our Village.
  • Create a responsive, volunteer-first, community-based service organization that will enhance the quality of life of future Village members.
  • Exercise your skills/expertise in leadership, finances, fundraising, recruiting & managing volunteers, organizational development, marketing & publicity, event planning, social media and database management.
  • Find fulfillment in knowing that you are part of national grassroots movement, leading with passion and vision so older adults can age with dignity, comfort and grace in their own homes.                                                                      Top
Photo courtesy of Mt Vernon at Home Village

Photo courtesy of Mt Vernon at Home Village

2Who will benefit from
     North Star Village?

The experience of Villages operating throughout the country indicates that Villages appeal to independently-living older adults who:

  • Want convenient concierge-type services, and social, cultural, wellness and educational opportunities.
  • Want to be a part of an engaged, active community.
  • Desire help with transportation, shopping, light household and garden tasks, and errands.
  • Need (or may need) in-home non-medical care services.
  • Want to continue living in their homes as they age, but are finding it challenging for a variety of reasons that can be remedied with some help.

These benefits play out in other ways as well.  Adult children find peace of mind when their parents have a Village looking out for them and someone to call when assistance is needed.  And the neighborhood maintains a diverse, multi-generational richness with the presence of seniors aging in place.                           Top

member Services

3What services will be offered when North
     Star Village launches?

Our Village is in the development phase and will determine which services to offer after assessing the needs of our community prior to launching North Star Village. 

Nationally, five types of member services are typically provided by Villages.  All of these services are offered concierge-style where "one call does it all".

  • Social Connection & Personal EnrichmentSocial, cultural, educational and wellness programs and activities geared to keeping members physically active, socially engaged, and mentally stimulated.   
  • Neighbors Helping NeighborsScreened and trained volunteers who provide practical help to make living at home easier as we grow older.  Examples include transportation, light housekeeping and garden duties, pet care, errands and other tasksall aimed at assisting members to continue living independently in their own homes.
  • Helpful Networks/Resources
    • Screened BusinessesA list of member-referred home service/maintenance businesses that have been screened for licensing and insurance, if applicable, and reference checks. 
    • Local ConnectionsTo avoid duplication of services, members are linked to existing services provided by Portland Metro area agencies, nonprofits, churches and community service organizations serving older adults and those living independently with disabilities.
    • Non-medical in-home assistanceFor our more frail members who may need professional assistance at some time so they can continue living in their own home, the Village provides access to a list of licensed agencies whose references, licensing, employee training practices and background checks have been confirmed.

Go to Services & Memberships for more information on future services and membership criteria and tiers.


Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Falmouth

Photo courtesy of Neighborhood Falmouth


4Who funds North Star Village?

The Funding & Resource Development Task Team is currently developing a multi-faceted plan to fund start-up costs.  We anticipate raising money through special events, donations and grants to carry us through the development phase. 

A second—and significant—fundraising target is to have sufficient cash reserves prior to launching our virtual Village to meet operational expenses and deliver member services for a period of five or six years.  Based on the experience of other Villages, we know that membership grows slowly and that it will take time before membership fees cover most of the expenses.  The launch date of North Star Village will be tied to meeting the cash reserves goal. 

5How will the Village ensure that it is financially
     stable once it is launched?

Nationally, the experience of other Villages is that membership fees cover most of the operational costs after five or six years.  In addition to prudent and conservative management of funds, we anticipate grants, donations and fee-based special events will balance the annual budget.                                                      Top

Development activities

6What is involved in the development phase of
     the Village?

Think of the work of building a Village from the ground up as very much like the steps needed to create any new business or community service organization. 

The Planning Team is committed to taking the time to build a firm foundation and infrastructure that ensures a stable and sustainable Village capable of meeting and exceeding members’ expectations.  We believe this commitment is vital so that people can rely on North Star Village services and programs as part of their retirement planning.

During the development phase, we focus on:

  • Reaching out to all communities within our Village service area and listening to their needs and hopes for aging in place.
  • Recruiting worker bees to share their skills, expertise and judgment by joining the Planning Team and/or the ongoing work of task teams.
  • Promoting special events to raise funds for start-up costs and to build a healthy reserve to cover cash flow needs in the initial years of operation.
  • Seeking volunteers for short-term tasks or the ongoing work of larger projects.
  • Delivering Village at Home presentations to create recognition of the programs and services that will be offered once North Star Village launches.                                Top
Photo courtesy of Ashby Village

Photo courtesy of Ashby Village

As we successfully build our foundation, we will move forward to the next steps:

  • Identifying services needed by neighbors who live within the Village service area.
  • Training and supporting volunteers who will assist our members.
  • Developing a referral directory of existing agencies and community service organizations that provide services to older adults living independently.
  • Conducting background checks on providers of professional home service businesses, in-home personal care assistance and home health services before they are added to the North Star Village referral list.

These are some of the essential tasks that need to be completed before we launch North Star Village.  It takes hard work and time to accomplish all of this—all provided by volunteers who share our Village vision.                                                                         Top


7Who makes the decisions?

The North Star Village Planning Team makes all decisions in the development phase. We are an all-volunteer group who believe in “paying it forward” and are willing to commit the time and energy to make our virtual Village a reality.  Anyone who has attended a Village at Home (aka Village 101) presentation and lives within the North Star Village service area can participate in the monthly Planning Team meetings.  For more information, go to Planning Team.

8Where is the North Star Village office?

We do not have a physical space for the Village .  In the future, there could be an office for staff and volunteers from which services and programs would be coordinated.  However there has been no decision made at this point, and we anticipate that it will be a few years before that determination is made.         Top

Photo courtesy of Beacon Hill Village

Photo courtesy of Beacon Hill Village

Photo courtesy of Ashby Village

Photo courtesy of Ashby Village