Private Duty

Use village strategy to help seniors stay independent, simultaneously get referrals

Getting involved with the village movement may be an untapped opportunity for private duty agencies.

Working with villages has resulted in a steady stream of referrals for Osborne Home Care in Rye, N.Y.

About 10% of the agency’s referrals come from villages, estimates Michele Thomas, executive vice president of Osborne Home Care in Rye, N.Y.

The village approach is fairly simple. It typically works as a membership-driven, grassroots, nonprofit or not-for-profit organization with the aim of supporting area seniors, Thomas explains.

Individual villages commit to helping their members age in a place of their choosing, closely connected to their communities and with the supports and tools they need to create successful aging of their own design.

These villages are run by volunteers and paid staff and coordinate access to affordable services or volunteer services, such as transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social activities and educational activities.

The organizations also offer seniors access to vetted and discounted service providers based on the needs of the community.

These villages aim to help people in the community age in place, whether that is in their own home or retirement community. The goal is to provide services to help people remain as independent as possible with a little extra help, Thomas explains. — Megan Pielmeier (