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Oakland Conference To Offer Tips For Seniors In Village Movement

OAKLAND (KCBS) – If you're not keen on the idea of living out your golden years in a retirement home, a conference this week in Oakland focusing on the Village Movement may have an alternative approach to keeping you in your own home.

The Village Movement is a nationwide, neighbor-helping-neighbor effort that has already spread across the country to more than 50 cities in the United States.

KCBS' Jeff Bell Reports:

"We have an incredible capacity in our communities to support one another," said Andy Gaines, executive director of Ashby Village in Berkeley.

Ashby Village is a 170-member social network, linking up elders with volunteers in the community.

"We're a volunteer-first organization. Our desire and intention is to have neighbors supporting neighbors," Gaines said.

And this week, several Ashby Village members will take part in the Village to Village Network, a national nonprofit organization that helps communities manage their villages, as the organization will hold its annual conference in Oakland.

The Village Movement, which began in 2002, was a way to keep seniors in their homes and neighborhoods and have access to services in the area like transportation.

"Transportation to doctors, to hospitals, to shopping or rides needed to come to our events," said Gaines.

Ashby Village has dozens of volunteers, many of which are also members. But they also rely on outside resources to provide often discounted services.

"We have a network of service providers that have been recommended to us by our members," said Gaines.

He said there are approximately 60 villages in operation across the country and more than a hundred more in development.

Ashby Village, which launched just last year, recently became one of nine villages to receive a $100,000 grant from the Archstone Foundation, a philanthropic organization focused on improving the quality of life for elderly Americans.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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