CHV is a network of neighbors helping neighbors, where volunteers unite to help older adults age comfortably in their own homes. When one of its 800 “villagers” is in need, some 340 volunteers are ready to provide a ride to the doctor or grocery store, help with housekeeping or meal preparation, gardening advice, and even sidewalk shoveling. For major repairs, home care assistance, or medical support, CHV efficiently links members with community-vetted vendors and partners. For low-income neighbors, discounted membership dues provide what all members receive, plus financial assistance with essential home repairs. Informative lectures, theater outings, exercise classes, and group dinners provide opportunities to learn and socialize. In a country that anticipates doubling its older population by 2050, CHV is a national leader in holistic, community-based care – because aging at home should never mean aging alone.
CHV implemented a volunteer-based emergency check-in system for older adults that completed over 1500 individual contacts in the first 6 weeks of the pandemic alone, and has continued to identify and address the material, financial, and health needs of community members. It trained them to use Zoom so they could connect with CHV’s digital programming, with family and friends, and with health care providers/telemedicine. A coronavirus hub on its website offers new informational programming and organizes volunteers to make and deliver masks and other personal protective equipment as needed.