The Village Connections program is designed to help members manage their own aging experiences by taking full advantage of Capitol Hill Village services and other community resources. By creating a strong support network, Village Connections prepares members for health crises, emergencies, and other challenges that threaten their ability to carry out the activities of daily life in their own homes. Village members are paired one-on-one with trained volunteers who serve as advocate and liaison to Capitol Hill Village and other community agencies and organizations. A pilot program with eleven pairs of members and volunteers began in April 2013. Members and volunteers worked together in a number of areas, including home safety assessments to prevent falls, increasing the memberís level of activity and exercise, and fully using services available through CHV. One goal of the program is for the member and volunteer to form a supportive relationship, so that the two can work effectively with CHV staff (particularly the Director of Volunteer and Social Services) to decrease the risk of crisis or major health events. Toward the end of fiscal year 2013, staff and interns assessed the pilot program, finding positive results that included social engagement and diversified service requests. With the formal launch of the program, in early fiscal year 2014, the participant pairs number 20.
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