Frequently Asked Questions (Reviewed 10/15)
What is a village?
It's "neighbors helping neighbors" to stay in their own homes as they grow older. A village, in its most simple form, is a group of neighbors who join together to provide support and volunteer time to enable the participants to "age in place" by helping with errands, transportation, minor household maintenance, etc. When volunteer help isn't enough, the Village can identify reliable paid professionals.
Why would I be interested in the Lake Barcroft Village when I'm physically fit and able to handle all of my needs myself?
Most people become Village members because they believe in the concept and because they want to surround themselves with others who share their goal of living independently and in community. They like to make new friends and renew old friendships; they want new experiences; and they enjoy being a part of something different. You also could think of the Village as insurance. You might be fit today, but the time could come when you will need the services of the Village. Participating in the Village when you are fit and able helps provide assurance that the Village will be in existence if and when you need it.
My neighbors often help me, especially with rides to the doctor. Why can’t I continue to use them?
Certainly, neighbors are willing to help, but what if they have a family obligation or another situation that makes them unavailable? Also, after receiving frequent help from neighbors, some people feel they are imposing and would prefer a reliable alternative.
What are the age requirements for joining the Village?
There are none.
What services may I expect to receive from volunteers?
● Transportation: Volunteers provide rides to doctors’ offices and medical facilities, friends’ and family members’ homes, grocery and other essential shopping, or almost anywhere you need to go locally but can’t get there on your own.
● Social and community events: The Village sponsors social activities for its members, arranges and coordinates interest groups, entertainment outings, educational programs and similar activities.
● Vendor services: The Village has a list of vetted service providers and monitors their performance. A volunteer may also initiate contact with and facilitate conversation between contractors and village members who may be uncomfortable doing so independently.
● Help with technology: Volunteers help with setting up and using computers, the internet, e-mail, DVDs, digital phones, clocks, electronic thermostats and other devices.
● Light home maintenance: Volunteers help with -- or offer referral for – light maintenance jobs that members can no longer manage on their own, such as changing hard-to-reach light bulbs and filters, turning mattresses, treating slow-running drains, unsticking windows, helping with home safety, weather-emergency and miscellaneous handyman tasks.
● Other services: Depending on individual circumstances services could include such items as companionship (home visits, conversation, reading, phone calls to monitor a member’s well being) or emergency pet walking or feeding.
Does the Village provide medical care?
No. Village assistance does not extend to providing medical care, but it has a list of vetted home health care agencies. Volunteers are usually available to drive members to and from local medical appointments.
Are members required to provide volunteer services?
No, but they are encouraged to do so. Other Villages have been surprised by the large numbers of members and non-members who volunteer. To find out more about contributing as a volunteer contact the Village Coordinator. A form for volunteering can be found here with instructions.
How much does membership cost?
Current fees are $500 for a single member and $750 for a couple annually. Fees support a paid Village Coordinator who coordinates requests for assistance and to cover operating costs such as insurance and office supplies.
Will my fees be tax deductible?
Check with your accountant. The Village cannot provide tax advice.
Are people who don't live in Lake Barcroft eligible for membership?
Currently membership is limited to Lake Barcroft residents. Expansion beyond the Lake might be considered in the future.
How can I help?
You can invite friends and neighbors to a Village community meeting or introduce them to the Village Coordinator, who will be happy to explain the Village concept. You can volunteer to help provide services.
You also can make a tax-deductible donation. A form for making donations can be downloaded here with instructions. For information about making an in-kind donation contact the Village Coordinator.
How do I join?
Contact the Village Coordinator by email or phone (listed below) who will gladly drop off a blank agreement and pick up your completed form and payment. If you prefer, you can print a copy of the form here and complete it. You may also mail your completed form with your membership payment to Lake Barcroft Village at the address below.
Lake Barcroft Village, Inc., P.O. Box 4645, Falls Church, VA 22044.