By Helen M. Walker
The silver tsunami is upon us as baby boomers are aging and retiring in droves. According to AARP roughly 10,000 people turn 65 every day. With this large baby boom cohort, and because so many people are living longer, the number of older adults will nearly double over the next several decades – representing more than 20% of the U.S. population by 2050.
This social phenomenon creates opportunities for services, products, and information to meet the needs of this population. One such unique service organization is the Austin based “virtual community” the Capital City Village (CCV) founded in 2011 by a small group of forward thinking individuals. CCV is a nonprofit with the mission of “helping seniors stay in their homes and communities as long as possible, a concept referred to as Aging In Place and Community.”
The mission of CCV is achieved through programs, providers, and fellow member volunteers all in service of supporting members who desire to age in place. Service providers are screened and all volunteers are background-checked.
Rick, a member volunteer, has Information Technology (IT) skills and helps CCV members with various IT challenges. My own request for IT assistance with our email accounts and cell phones was promptly scheduled. Soon after Rick arrived, he quickly figured out how to address the issues and stayed for a short visit for coffee and interesting conversation with my husband and me.
On another occasion, we needed help with lifting heavy plant containers. I requested volunteers with “strong backs” and soon there was a knock on our door and five young men and women donated 2 hours of time to help move heavy flower pots and boxes and to spread mulch. They also texted the next day to ask if we had any additional needs.
As a CCV member, I can access up to three volunteer services per week, including help with grocery shopping, transportation, technology, and minor home fix-its. Other CCV services
include referrals to member-recommended professionals, such as handy persons, plumbers, and home care providers, many of whom offer discounts to CCV members.
A broad range of social activities, as well as informational programs (most free or low-cost) on healthy aging and wellbeing, timely community topics, and local resources are regularly offered.
CCV membership fees are based on household income on a sliding scale. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about CCV and their supportive services for “Aging In Place”, or becoming a member volunteer, please see the CCV website at capitalcity.helpfulvillage.com or call 512-524-2709.
Capital City Village was featured on KXAN’s Studio 512: “Helping Seniors Feel More at Home in Life” (bit.ly/capcv).