Frequently Asked Questions
Are there age restrictions for membership? How old are most members?
There is no age restriction for joining. Our recent membership survey shows that about a third of us are in our 60s, 70s, or 80s.
Can I buy my parents or someone else a membership?
Yes, you can give a gift membership to your parents or to anyone else.
Why should I join if I’m active and healthy right now? If I live in an apartment building, and all repairs are taken care of?
Most members join as a form of insurance. Membership provides you with peace of mind that you know where to turn should the time come, perhaps suddenly, when you need a little or a lot of help in order to continue living in your own home. As a member of Ashby Village, you can be assured that you have a supportive community when you need it.
Others especially prize the convenience of calling one number to get all kinds of services, whether it’s a plumber, an accountant, a driver or a massage. Discounts and savings are a benefit, too.
Many of our members join because they value being part of a mutually supportive community and are actively interested in volunteering their services to others. Some members who volunteer discover new social connections in the neighborhood and beyond. For them, the community self-help aspect is the most important reason for joining.
How does Ashby Village’s concierge service work?
When you call Ashby Village with a request, staff will first attempt to match your request with volunteer capacity and will then establish contact between you and the volunteer to work out arrangements. There is no charge for this service. If a service is required beyond volunteer capacity, we will provide you with a referral to pre-screened, insured providers and if you would like assistance, we will contact the providers and make the appointment or arrangements for you. A growing number of providers now offer discounts to our members. Ashby Village maintains a continuing liaison with and evaluation process for both providers and volunteers and should you have a problem or complaint, staff will assist you in resolving it.
Do I have to become a volunteer when I join?
No, you don’t have to become a volunteer. Our volunteers are all ages and come from many parts of the community – UC students, community residents and professionals, as well as Ashby Village members.
What if I need something that is not on the list of provided services?
Call Ashby Village for anything and everything. We will work with you to find a solution for your needs.
If there is an emergency, how do you help?
Ashby Village is not an emergency response service. During a medical emergency, members should call 911 or their doctor. Ashby Village will help with follow-up needs at home.
I have a chronic illness. Although I am fairly independent now, I expect to need more assistance with things like transportation to the doctor and the grocery store. Someday I may need to have someone live in my home to help me. Can I still join Ashby Village?
Yes, you can still join Ashby Village. Volunteers can assist you with transportation and with grocery shopping. If you need full-time assistance, Ashby Village will provide you with a list of home healthcare agencies where you will be able to find someone to employ to assist you. In addition, Ashby Village has a care management team of members and volunteers who have experience in providing guidance to individuals with complicated lives and needs, and who can help you and your family to make decisions.
Should an assisted living, or a nursing facility be needed, what does Ashby Village offer?
Ashby Village’s Social Services Committee is led by a volunteer group of Ashby Village members and advisors who are also clinical psychologists, social workers, and geriatric case managers. They will help you and your family discuss the next best steps.
If you move from your home into an assistive setting, you can continue your membership in Ashby Village as long as you are within our service area.
I live on a fixed income and cannot afford the yearly membership fee. Does that mean I can’t join?
If it is a burden to pay your membership dues in one lump sum, you can pay in quarterly installments through automatic withdrawals from your credit card. There are additional processing fees for this option.
Ashby Village has a commitment to building a membership that reflects our diverse population, and that includes those of us with low incomes. The It Takes a Village subsidized membership fund has been established to assist people with incomes below those defined in the Elder Economic Security Standard Index. Contact us for more information.
Are there other Villages in the Bay Area?
There are more than 50 functioning Villages around the country, and more than 120 in formation. In the Bay Area, there are Villages in San Francisco, Palo Alto and Marin, and there are others in the planning stages. Click HERE for a full nationwide list.
Ashby Village 'History Wall' constructed at Volunteer Forum