Our Service Boundaries
To help assure that we could deliver offered services to our members, we initially set our membership boundaries to those of the Town of Westerly, Rhode Island. So, our prospective members receiving such services must be full or part-time residents of the Town of Westerly. That may expand in the future to adjacent communities, if and when we have the capacity to do so.
Westerly Demographics & Needs
Westerly is known far and wide as a seaside jewel in the crown of our Ocean State. To the outside world, our town is known for its exquisite beaches, its cultural treasures, and some of its affluent neighborhoods. But internally, our older residents (65+) mirror most of the statewide demographics ----- economically, educationally, residentially and healthily.
In a 2020 Rhode Island Healthy Aging Community Profile conducted by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the following was estimated for the Town of Westerly:
Our population aged 65 years or older is 6,374 (representing 20.7% of the total Westerly population of 22,624 –--- compared with 16.5% statewide).
- 29.6% of our 65+ population live alone.
- 14.2% of our 65+ population are divorced/separated and 23.5% are widowed.
In a 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment by the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, and a supplemental follow-up study, the Westerly data showed that transportation and social isolation represented challenges for many elders (even before the pandemic).
We canvassed Westerly area service providers to determine service needs and gaps that might be narrowed by a Westerly Village. We met with local leaders and interviewed some potential members and volunteers. We were mentored and guided by the experience of TVC and its other local villages.
The conclusions seemed clear. Westerly has an abundance of older residents who, regardless of status, have unmet challenges and needs. Many people in the area have the ability and willingness to volunteer their talents to help. Our Westerly Village was launched to match and meet the needs and interests of both our members and our volunteers.