Chevy Chase Citizens Association: Aug. 2, 2017

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As home to the largest number of senior residents in D.C., wards 3 and 4 face special challenges in meeting the needs of those over 60. More than 30 percent of the city’s seniors call these wards home, and their numbers are increasing.

And despite the area’s reputation as a high-income neighborhood, more than 10 percent of the residents in these two wards live in poverty. A 2016 D.C Office on Aging assessment found that while the city is providing many services to its senior population, it is unable to meet all of their needs. Fortunately, others are stepping in to help.

People in 11 D.C. neighborhoods, including Chevy Chase, have formed “villages.” A village is a nonprofit organization where volunteers provide a plethora of services for seniors who wish to remain in their own homes and neighborhoods as they age. They’re helping thousands of D.C. residents stay healthy, make new friends and learn new skills. An additional three villages in the District are in the planning stage.

The villages host social events and book clubs, offer exercise classes, provide rides to doctors, and arrange many types of assistance for homeowners such as minor repairs, decluttering and friendly visits. While the villages charge annual membership fees, they provide subsidies for low-income residents.

Chevy Chase is home to the city’s second-largest village, Northwest Neighbors Village. Since opening its doors in 2009, this nonprofit has recruited, trained and done background checks on hundreds of volunteers. You can get more information at nwnv.org or by calling 202-777-3435.

Northwest Neighbors Village and our association jointly host programs of interest to seniors. Recent sessions included talks on avoiding scams, preparing for medical emergencies and ensuring that family members understand your needs and end-of-life preferences.

— Janean Mann