Helpfulvillage logo 58x58
Add me to your mailing list

Member Handbook

 

What Is Avenidas Village?

Avenidas Village is a membership program offered through the non-profit agency Avenidas.  It’s a “virtual” community for older adults living in their own homes, that offers practical help, resources and social connections to enhance their independence and security.  This movement was started by a group of neighbors in Beacon Hill, Massachusetts, who organized the first Village in 2002 as network of neighbors, to help each other remain connected and supported in their home community.  Avenidas Village, the first Village on the West Coast, was founded in 2007 and is now one of more than 200 Villages nationwide. 

Most people, when asked, say that they prefer to stay in their own home and community as they grow older…Avenidas Village was designed to make this possible for you!

Who Can Benefit from a Village Membership?

Are you:

  •          Newly retired and looking for a fresh way to engage in your neighborhood and community?
  •     Well-established in your home and neighborhood and looking for resources and support to help you stay there as long as you can? 
  •        A recent widow or widower facing new challenges at home or in need of some new social connections? 
  •        Far from family members who can support you with some of your needs? 
  •        Independent, but would like some help to find trusted resources and service providers?

If so - Avenidas Village might be just what you are looking for!

 What We Offer

Support & Services

When you join Avenidas Village, you will gain access to a curated selection of services and resources that will help to simplify your life and address challenges that you may face. 

·        Regional and neighborhood network of like-minded neighbors whom you can meet through organized social events such as lunch groups, community outings and tours, special interest groups, and neighborhood gatherings

·        Connect with other Villagers as a volunteer, or if you need help with a ride, a simple household task or just a social call or visit, other Villagers are available to lend you a hand

·        An extensive list of pre-screened vendors you can call on to provide services as needed, such as an appliance or home repairs, home health care, gardening, computer/technology help and much more

·        A rich range of discounted offerings through Avenidas Senior Center: “Avenidas Connects – Gold” level membership for lifelong learning, wellness, and social services

·        24/7 service provides answers or assistance, right on the spot to give you peace of mind, knowing there is someone you can call to help you coordinate the services you need, when you need them

Neighborhood Groups

Connect with Villagers right in your own neighborhood!  Neighborhood “clusters” meet in homes for social events, special lectures/presentations with invited speakers, information sharing and more!  Each Cluster has its own group email to share resources and information.  If you have a simple need or just want a friendly visit, you can call someone nearby to lend a hand.

Interest Groups

Do you have a favorite activity or hobby that you would like to share with others? Avenidas Village Interest Groups are created and led by Village members.  They are designed to bring members together to enjoy activities and build friendships all at the same time!  Interest groups now available include Current Events, Readers Group and Village Walkers…and more are being created!

Professional Providers

Avenidas Village maintains an extensive list of pre-screened vendors you can call on to provide services as needed, such as an appliance or home repairs, home health care, gardening, computer/technology help and much more.  These vendors are licensed, bonded and have been carefully screened to ensure quality service combined with a special understanding of the needs of senior customers.  Most of the vendors offer discounts for Village members to save you money, too.

Joining Avenidas Village

Application

If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a member, the first step is to complete our membership application which includes basic information about yourself such as your interests, concerns about aging at home, or specific needs.  After you have completed and returned the application with the membership fee, you will be contacted for a personal interview.

Member Care Interview

After your application but before processing your payment, you will be invited to participate in a “Member Care Interview” with the Village Director.  The purpose of this interview is to help us to get to know you better and learn how the Village might be best able to support you.  At this time we will also review with you the Directory of Services which includes the complete directory of Village members and of vendors/service providers who have been pre-screened and offer discounts to Village members.  The Directory also includes community resource listings for free or low-cost services offered by local non-profit agencies.  Finally, the Member Care interview is your chance to ask questions and get a clear understanding of how the Village can serve you.

Membership Fees

Membership fees currently are $970 for a single/individual membership and $1390 for a household/dual membership.  Fees are payable annually by check or credit card, or monthly by credit card for an additional processing fee. 

Members of at least one year who decide to move to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) are eligible to continue their membership in the Village at one-half the normal rate

For general members, the majority of programs and all volunteer provided services are included in your annual membership fees.  Avenidas Village members also receive automatic “Avenidas Connects – Gold” membership, which includes the highest tier of discounts and priority access to Avenidas Senior Center wellness and lifelong learning programs and services.

Renewals

All members will receive a renewal notice and invoice the month ahead of your renewal date.  If paying by check, you can send a check for your membership renewal when you receive the notice.  If paying by credit card, just return the invoice with your current credit card information, or call the Village office to provide your credit card number.  There is no automatic membership renewal at this time.

Scope of Services

Avenidas Village offers a specific scope of service that is most appropriate to support individuals who are generally independent. Members are expected to reach out to the Village office to request services as needs arise.  If a member’s need for services exceeds that which Avenidas Village is able to provide, every effort will be made to connect the member with alternative options.  On joining the Village, members will be asked to work with staff to create a plan to address needs that may arise beyond what the Village can provide.  This may include a consultation with the member’s family or with Avenidas Care Partners to identify appropriate additional services.

Termination

Members and Avenidas Village each have the right to terminate membership.  On joining, members commit to membership for a full year to experience Village services and social connections as fully as possible.  However, we understand that circumstances may change.  If you need to cancel your membership for any reason, please contact the Village office and staff will assist you. 

 Let’s Keep In Touch!

From Avenidas Village to You

Avenidas Village keeps you updated with a few different outreach tools.  Our “Village Voice” newsletter is currently published every two months and contains updates on past and upcoming activities, events, and member news.

Village members can also log in to the members-only website where you can access the member directory, directory of vetted vendors, and also see the latest updates and the Village events calendar.  In the near future, you will be able to contact our office, renew your membership, send in a service request or RSVP to events online as well as check out member feedback and recommendations for services.

When you join Avenidas Village, you will also be added to the Village email group as well as to your neighborhood cluster email group.  We use these groups to provide updates and reminders in between newsletters.  Members are also welcome and encouraged to email either the Village or their neighborhood cluster using these groups, to share or request information or referrals for services.

How to Reach Us

The Avenidas Village office is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  If you have a need after hours or on weekends, a live answering service is available to help you.  Emails are handled during normal office hours. Any time you have a medical emergency, please call 911.

Avenidas Village Contact Information:

Avenidas Village

450 Bryant St.

Palo Alto, CA  94301

Phone:        650-289-5405 (after hours press 5 for live operator assistance)

Email:         Member Services – Dawn Greeenblat dgreenblat@avenidas.org

                   Social Events – Sabrina Huang shuang@avenidas.org

                   Director – Erika Thomas ethomas@avenidas.org

Website:     www.avenidasvillage.org

Requesting Services

When Should You Call Avenidas Village?

  • ·        Before and After a Hospitalization
  • ·        For Companionship – friendly visits or social phone calls
  • ·        For help with simple tasks/chores like changing a hard-to-reach lightbulb
  • ·        For technology help – computer, smartphone, TV connection
  • ·        For referrals for services – professionals you can trust for home maintenance, home care, pet care, meal delivery, organizing/downsizing, and more
  • ·        To arrange a home safety assessment
  • ·        For rides – appointments, errands, or ride sharing to Village events
  • ·        To RSVP to social events
  • ·        When you have a resource to share or recommend
  • ·        Or any time you have a question or problem you need help to solve – give us a call and we will help you sort it out!

How to Request Services and/or RSVP to Programs

Please give us time to work on your request – it’s a good idea to give as much advance notice as possible so we can find someone to help you!

If you need immediate help for a non-emergency situation after hours, our live answering service can connect you with home care providers, plumber, locksmith or handyman service on the spot!  Just call (650) 289 5405 and press 5 for after-hours live operator assistance as directed by the voicemail message.

Avenidas Village Vetted Vendors

How it Works

If you need services from a handyman, home care provider, financial advisor, organizer or another kind of professional, Avenidas Village may be able to help you to find a trusted provider through our Vetted Vendor list.  Local providers are thoroughly screened by Village staff and volunteers to ensure they are trustworthy and have a great reputation for quality service.  If they are approved, they are added to our Vetted Vendor list which makes it easy for you to find the service you need.

Vetted vendors generally offer a discount or reduced rate for Village members so you will be able to save money as well as have peace of mind knowing you are working with a reputable provider.  Avenidas Village will also help to follow up if any issues occur with a vendor from the list.

Your feedback is an important part of keeping our listing current and accurate.  Reports from members are a key resource in helping other members know who they can trust.  So if you receive services from one of our vendors, please let the office know how it went for you.  Whether good or bad, your experience will help us with our recommendations.

Sample Categories of Professional Services offered by our vendors:

  • ·        Home Care Agencies
  • ·        Professional Organizers
  • ·        Financial Services
  • ·        Home Repair:  Plumbing, Electrician, Contractor
  • ·        Real Estate Services
  • ·        Meal Delivery
  • ·        Family Therapists
  • ·        Physical Therapists

We are happy to get recommendations from members on additional service categories or providers who have served you well.  They can be invited to go through the vetting process and be added to our list of trusted providers.

Volunteering with Avenidas Village

All members are encouraged to contribute to the Village community through volunteering.  A number of basic services are provided by Village members who step up to help out other members.  Sometimes this happens informally within the neighborhood groups, but we also encourage anyone who has a skill or service to offer to join our list of Village Volunteers. 

Consider taking just a little time to help other Village members, and it will enrich your life as well!  Volunteering can be helping out an individual member or can be serving on a committee or helping in the office.  Some of the ways you can help include: 

  • ·        Driving – appointments, errands, carpool to Village events
  • ·        Social phone calls to members who would like a check-in
  • ·        Med-Pal – Receive specialized training to accompany someone to a medical appointment and help them take notes on what the doctor says
  • ·        Committees – Volunteer to serve on committees that support Village programming and community outreach
  • ·        Office Help – Write for the newsletter, do some data entry, keep our directory up to date
  • ·        Technology – are you tech-savvy? Help someone with their computer, phone, connectivity or using apps
  • ·        Simple household chores – change a lightbulb, sweep a driveway, trim a hedge for a neighbor
  • ·        Meal preparation/delivery for someone who has been ill or in the hospital
  • ·        What is your special skill?  Organizing photos or paperwork? Gardening?  Maybe someone needs your help!

Make the Most of Your Membership in Avenidas Village

Code of Conduct

We ask and expect that all Village members and staff treat one another with respect.  We invite you to share your needs and concerns with a spirit of openness and understanding toward one another and we seek to promote the following ongoing values through all of our Village activities: 

  • ·        Respect – Recognize and acknowledge the value of each individual, whether or not we agree with them on everything
  • ·        Community – We are here to share with and support each other.
  • ·        Communication – Share your knowledge and experience!  Give feedback to the office so we can provide the best information and guidance.  Let us know when you have enjoyed a particular event or activity, or what activities or services you would like to see added.
  • ·        Continual Improvement – We seek to consistently develop and deliver programs and services that fit the needs of our community, even as those may change over time.  We seek to improve our processes and systems to deliver the best possible service to members.
  • ·        Collaboration – One individual does not make a Village!  Our program thrives and grows when members join together to make it happen, whether through sharing ideas or stepping up to plan or direct Village activities and groups.

Ask for What You Need

If there’s something you need or would like to see added that would improve your experience with the Village, please ask!  Let us know if you have a hearing, visual or mobility needs that might need to be considered when we are planning events or programs. 

In the end, the value of membership in Avenidas Village depends on you.  The more you participate and take advantage of the available services, the more value the Village will have for you.  Please take the available opportunities to meet new people, attend programs, groups or workshops, organize a group or lead a committee, offer your services as a volunteer, and ask for help when you need something.  Get involved to enjoy what we have to offer and to let others have the chance to get to know you! 

Privacy

Avenidas Village recognizes and respects the privacy of its members, volunteers, and donors. 

Confidential information will only be shared when necessary for the purposes of research and evaluation, for arranging services and activities that you and other members want and need, and in case of emergency.  Such sharing will be restricted to staff, key volunteers and service providers, unless you direct us otherwise.  If concerns arise regarding a member’s health or safety, Avenidas Village may notify an emergency contact or Adult Protective Services.  

 We do not sell, rent, exchange or share with third parties personal information about members, volunteers or donors for use in marketing or solicitations of any kind.

Grievances

Avenidas Village seeks to provide the highest quality experience for every member and volunteer that participates in our program.  Members and volunteers are encouraged to provide feedback to staff regarding their interactions.  All suggestions, concerns, compliments, and complaints will be held in the strictest confidence and will be used only to inform staff about necessary improvements in communication, service, and programs.

In the event that a member or volunteer has a complaint or grievance, they are encouraged to bring it to the attention of Avenidas Village staff who will attempt to resolve the issue.  Should the grievance involve interpersonal conflict, every attempt will be made to mediate the conflict by gathering information and facilitating a mutually acceptable resolution.  Members and volunteers are always welcome to contact the Director directly should they choose.

Organization and Management

As a program of Avenidas, Avenidas Village is represented on the Avenidas Board of Directors by a designated liaison and by the Avenidas VP of Programs.  Avenidas Village programs and activities are developed by the Avenidas Village Advisory Council, and supported and directed by the Avenidas Village Director and staff.

Avenidas Village Staff

Erika Thomas, Director

ethomas@avenidas.org

Dawn Greenblat, Member Services Manager

dgreenblat@avenidas.org

Sabrina Huang, Social Events Coordinator

shuang@avenidas.org

 

Avenidas Village Advisory Council 2018-2019

 

John C. Couch jcchimail@aol.com  
Nancy Goldcamp nancy@nancygoldcamp.com Vendors Liaison
Bruce Heister bruce.heister@gmail.com Former Chair
Aldora Lee aglarpc8@hotmail.com  
Kayleen Miller kayleen823@aol.com  
Tom Reese tom_reese@att.net Former Chair
Debbie Rosenberg dnrosenb@sbcglobal.net  
Dick Scott  scottwr@stanford.edu   Former Chair 
Jeannie Siegman jsiegman@gmail.com    
Chuck Sieloff
chuck.sieloff@gmail.com
 
Richard Smallwood
rsmallwd@pacbell.net
Chair
Paul Vadopalas
paulvadopalas@gmail.com
 
Linda Williams
linlouwms@yahoo.com
 
Cindy Hofen cindy@managingmoves.com Avenidas Board Liaison

 

 

Annual Meeting

Every January, an Annual Meeting open to all Avenidas Village members is scheduled.  During this time the Advisory Council and staff review Village accomplishments, activities and finances from the prior year and provide updates on goals and objectives for the coming year.  It’s an opportunity for all Village stakeholders to ask questions, raise concerns and share successes as a community.  Please plan to attend!

 

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more