HJ173: Village Concept; Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services to report.

HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 173

Offered January 17, 2014
Requesting the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services to promote the Village Concept as an alternative to institutional-based care. Report.
Patron-- Krupicka

Committee Referral Pending

WHEREAS, the population of aging adults in the Commonwealth is growing rapidly and is expected to grow an additional 30 percent by 2030; and

WHEREAS, surveys indicate that 90 percent of Americans wish to live independently in their homes and communities as they age; and

WHEREAS, the expansion of home and community-based services and supports in the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions has proved to be a cost-effective alternative to institutional-based care and has enabled more aging adults to live independently in their homes and communities; and

WHEREAS, further expansion of home and community-based services and supports in the Commonwealth, including appropriate housing options, a range of mobility and transportation options, and access to cultural, recreational, and social activities, is essential to sustain quality of life for aging adults and allow them to live independently in their homes and communities; and

WHEREAS, the Village Concept, a growing grassroots movement founded on an innovative neighbor-helping-neighbor philosophy, has enabled many communities in the Commonwealth and other jurisdictions to provide the support required for aging adults to continue living independently in their homes and communities by connecting aging adults in various geographic areas; and

WHEREAS, the Village Concept, under the direction of a board of directors composed primarily of aging adults, provides services and supports to its members for a low membership fee, including transportation, home maintenance, yard work, technology assistance, social events, educational and cultural opportunities, and health programs based on the unique needs of its members; and

WHEREAS, expansion of the Village Concept in the Commonwealth may improve quality of life for its aging population, reduce social isolation, and provide the services and supports required for aging adults to continue living independently in their homes and communities that the government alone cannot provide; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the House of Delegates, the Senate concurring, That the Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services be requested to promote the Village Concept as an alternative to institutional-based care. The Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) shall (i) inform local governments, the Commonwealth's agencies serving the aging, and other stakeholders about the Village Concept, including information about the creation and operation of Villages and the focus on volunteerism; (ii) inform the Commonwealth's aging population, with an emphasis on diverse and immigrant populations, about the Village Concept through means including electronic bulletin boards, brochures, state and local agency websites, and the Commonwealth Council on Aging website; (iii) encourage the creation of grant opportunities for existing and future Villages to help subsidize the cost of membership for low-income individuals; and (iv) encourage one or more universities or nonprofit organizations in the Commonwealth to evaluate the Village Concept as an alternative to institutional-based care.

The Department of Aging and Rehabilitative Services shall submit to the Division of Legislative Automated Systems an executive summary and report of its progress in meeting the requests of this resolution no later than the first day of the 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly. The executive summary and report shall be submitted for publication as a report document as provided in the procedures of the Division of Legislative Automated Systems for the processing of legislative documents and reports and shall be posted on the General Assembly's website.