"People out here are pretty independent and won't always ask their neighbor for help, or they don't know their neighbors," said Marilyn Stoney, executive director of the all-volunteer group. "That independent streak might work against them as they grow older."
Many villages offer wellness activities and a social component such as conversation groups and outings to cultural events.
In Reston, a planned community built in the 1960s, a residents' survey of needs took place this summer. A community forum on aging is scheduled Oct. 9; you can register online at www.aginginreston.org or call 703-966-6182.
"The founder's idea was to enable people to live here for a lifetime," said Steve Gurney, the publisher of "Guide to Retirement Living Sourcebook," who grew up in Reston and now lives there.
Fifty years later, the village concept may make that dream possible.
Other villages in development are: At Home in Alexandria (email@example.com), Glencarlyn Citizens Association (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Mosby Woods Village (email@example.com).
Marsha Mercer is a freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va.