San Clemente Village

Helping Older Adults in Our Community Live Their Best Lives

I think most folks are familiar with the old adage “it takes a village,” I’ve certainly found it to be true when I was a mom of young kids and now as the child of an aging parent. Perhaps one of the most incredible examples emerged out of the

Boston area in the early 2000s when an online retirement service organization let its residents, near and far, come together to age gracefully, surrounded by friends.

Over the last quarter century, the model has expanded westward and caught the attention of Jessica Reiter-Flax, now Director of San Clemente Village in South Orange County.

Barry and Peggy Mulkay

Part of the Village Movement California, San Clemente Village started in 2014 as a hope that “neighbors would help neighbors.” Two years later, it is currently the only full-service not-for-profit service Village in Orange County and Jessica hopes to “continue our geographic reach to include more South County communities in the coming years.”

The 100% volunteer driven membership organization provides services for local seniors ranging from transportation to appointments, grocery shopping, social outings to happy hours and help around the house. The average volunteer is 65 years young – looking for ways to give back.

Village Board Member Barry Mulkay, 74, and his wife Peggy, 72, both village volunteers and social members since 2018, originally joined the Village to “be of service to our community.”

Married for 53 years with two sons and three wonderful grandchildren, the couple “enjoy meeting new people and learning about everyone’s life and experiences, backgrounds and families and have made lifelong friendships through our participation.”

Transportation/Errands
Technology Assistance
Social Activities
Educational Programs
Help Around the House
… and More!

“We really enjoy helping our members in taking care of their many needs, including doctor and dental visits, help around the home and grocery shopping,” says Barry. “It feels really great seeing how appreciative the members are of our help.”

Owen and Darlene Martin

Village volunteers and social members Owen and Darlene Martin echo the Mulkay’s sentiment.

After retiring from a 35-year career in the mortgage industry, Owen joined The Village as a social member in last July.

“After retiring I just wanted to sit back & relax,” he says. “My wife was also retired but kept herself busy as a volunteer for the village. She would come home from taking someone to an appointment or attending an activity with the village and would tell me about the fun time she had getting to know other people. It sounded great and I was ready to get involved. One of the greatest benefits of joining was getting my social life going again.”

Things like Sunday brunch or a movie matinee may not seem like they make a huge difference in the overall cognitive, physical, or psychological success rates of older adults (aged 87, on average). But more than 70% of seniors want to remain in their homes as they age “and the Village helps them do just that. They can socialize easily, which reduces isolation, maintaining a state of continuous physical and mental well-being.”

Claudette Miller

Members like 91-years-young Claudette Miller has made “many strong, lasting friendships” since joining San Clemente Village in 2019 and credits the organization with allowing her to maintain her independence and dignity. The mother of four, grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of 24 shares that she “used to take cabs everywhere until I joined the Village. Not only is it much more cost effective, the true benefit comes from the time I spend with volunteers during my rides to and from my appointments and in participating in the various activities and events. The village keeps me young, active and social.”

One of more than 40 such organizations throughout the state, San Clemente Village helps older adults in the community live their best lives, and its volunteers are always ready to welcome new members into the fold. After all, with a full roster of wellness initiatives, grocery store, technology assistance and even fall risk reduction preparedness, it really does take a village.

Interested in becoming a volunteer or in need of service?
(949) 441-1348
SCVillage.org

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