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The Village Office will be closed on Friday, July 3.

The Lafayette Community Foundation's seventh annual Senior Symposium, titled "Aging by Design", takes place on August 1 at the Lafayette Elementary School on Moraga Road.  Space will be limited, so the LCF requests that you register in advance by calling 925-284-8214; leave your name, phone number, and number of people wishing to attend.


The Moraga Parks and Rec Summer Lunch and Learn series features technology tips, with Grant Stubblefield of Neighborhood Computers. Dates are June 19, July 17, and August 14.  Check the calendar for topics, locations, and registration information.  

June-July 2015

Ruth McCahan The Board of Directors and the many Lamorinda Village volunteers are delighted to welcome all our new members. The launch event in April was lively, exciting, and very well attended. For many of us it was the culmination of years of preparation and development.


Our Village's development started in 2012 when a small group of interested Lamorinda residents engaged in a feasibility study to see if a Village could be a successful venture for Lamorinda. We talked with other Villages and existing senior service providers, surveyed over 500 of the over-65 residents of Lamorinda, and determined that there was a strong interest in having a Village for Lamorinda's older residents. Overwhelmingly we wanted to take charge of our lives as we aged and we wanted to stay in our own homes as long as possible. We also recognized that we might need some help in order to do this. The Village was the answer.


By 2013 we started on the numerous development tasks: incorporating, writing bylaws, obtaining 501(c)(3) status, developing the business plan, establishing a budget, raising seed money, promoting the Village concept, and developing our website. More than 70 volunteers contributed untold hours and tremendous experience and knowledge. By the end of 2014 we had elected a board of directors, conducted a search for an Executive Director, raised over $150,000, acquired necessary insurance coverage, selected strategic and community partners, and executed plans for programs, preferred service providers, volunteers, and outreach and recruitment for members.


On behalf of the Board of Directors, thanks to all of you as we embark on this new phase of Lamorinda Village operating as a community to support the needs, wants, and desires of our members.


Best regards,

Ruth McCahan

Founder and President


Members Weigh In On Village Programs

At our Village launch party, many of you completed surveys to let us know what kinds of programs and activities you'd like the Village to offer for members. The survey, designed by the Lamorinda Village Programs Committee, asked about your interests, the time of day you prefer to attend programs, and whether you would like to lead a class or interest group yourself.


"We enjoyed reading the responses from Village members", reported Programs chair Karen Mendonca. "The results will help us design and support activities our members will enjoy, and that is a key benefit of the Village model where the members create their own interest groups and tell us what kinds of programs the Village should offer."


The top-rated activities were, in order of respondents' rankings:  

  1. Meet and Greet Social Opportunities
  2. Health, Wellness, and Personal Safety Programs
  3. Elder Fraud Awareness
  4. Travel to Local Points of Interest
  5. Book Discussions


Members reported that they would like to attend events and programs at St Mary's College and our three local libraries. Balance and strength training were highly rated in the health and fitness category, along with Tai Chi and Yoga classes.


On the question of topics that members themselves might like to offer for others, the answers ranged from dance for seniors, genealogy, knitting, art history, and basic Internet/computer skills.


It looks like Lamorinda Village will be offering some fantastic and educational programs for members. We welcome your ideas, and we're ready to help you connect with Village members who share your interests. Contact us at or P.O. Box 57, Lafayette, CA to get started, and don't forget to check the calendar on our website for member activities in the coming weeks. 


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Member Profile: Bea Heggie
Beatrice Heggie

Charter member Bea Heggie was enthusiastic about the Village from the time she first heard about it. "The idea appealed to me", she says. "I liked the promise of living independently with services provided by the Village volunteers and vendors."


Bea was born in Oakland and attended UC Berkeley during World War II, receiving a Regional Group major in Hispanic America Bachelor's degree. She was President of the campus Symphony Forum, which supported music appreciation by bringing artists to the campus, and met her husband, Dick Heggie, through that group when he offered to move a piano for one of the performances. After graduation she worked for the World Affairs Council and the San Francisco Symphony, where she continues her lifelong connection.


Her family kept a home in the U.S. where they returned between years lived in Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka (then called Ceylon), and India. "We were so fortunate to live in those places owing to my husband's employment with The Asia Foundation," she says. "Our three daughters picked up the languages easily, although it was a little harder for us. Still, the ability to live in those different cultures and learn their languages was a gift-it opened all our minds."


When they returned to Orinda, Bea began a career as a docent at the Lawrence Hall of Science and later became a member of the Advisory Council. She was also a docent and a Docent for the Deaf at the Oakland Museum. She became a founding member of the Montelindo Garden Club because she "loved gardening, but I only knew about Asian gardening. I wanted to learn how to garden in the California environment."


Dick Heggie was involved in the campaign to incorporate Orinda as a city, succeeding in 1985 and serving as the new city's first mayor. Bea attended all the city council meetings and remembers being intrigued by the complexity of creating a city structure from scratch.


Widowed in 2012, Bea began hearing about Lamorinda Village from friends who were involved in establishing it. She feels the Village is living up to its promise. "I think the Village is doing a good job of screening the groups providing services; they are doing all the work for me. I also like the access to activities like the Saint Mary's docent tour last week. I'm looking forward to having access to art, music, opera and plays together with other Village members." 


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Questions and Answers About the Village
Q: Why do we need a Village in Lamorinda, when we have so many services already available?
A: The Village model is a unique concept that is tailored to the needs of each community.  Please read the seven principles that make the Village right for our community.

Q: What insurance coverage is in place in case a volunteer is injured in my home?

A: Volunteers performing tasks in your home are covered by Lamorinda Village liability insurance. 


Q: How will I know whether to ask for a volunteer or a Preferred Service Provider for my project?

A:When you send your request to the Village office, the staff will evaluate your project to determine whether a volunteer or Service Provider is needed.   Occasionally, a volunteer who comes to help you may find that the task is more complex than anticipated, and will direct you back to the office for Service Provider referrals. (Note: Social members are eligible only for Preferred Service Provider referrals.)  


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Health and Fitness: Preventing a Fall


Village members listed fall prevention as one of the most important health-related topics they would like to know more about. September 23 has been designed as National Fall Prevention Day by the National Council on Aging, and we are hoping to offer a program for members in the coming months. In the meantime, you can follow these suggestions from the National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Aging.


  • Exercise to improve your balance and strengthen your muscles helps to prevent falls. Physical activity strengthens muscles and increases flexibility and endurance. (Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program.)
  • Bring your prescribed and over-the-counter medicines (or a list of them) with you when you visit your doctor. Ask the doctor to check the list for medicines that might affect your coordination or balance, or cause dizziness, confusion, or sleepiness.
  • It's important to select your footwear carefully to help prevent falls. Wear sensible, low-heeled shoes that fit well and support your feet. Choose shoes with non-slip soles.
  • You can also make your home safer by removing loose rugs, adding handrails to stairs and hallways, and making sure you have adequate lighting in dark areas. Consider having a professional home evaluation to identify risk factors in your physical environment.

Advice from the Village De-clutter Workshop

Last month Lamorinda Village sponsored a member workshop on A messy rooma topic of interest to many - how to declutter our homes. A dozen members and guests  attended the event, led by Ashby Village member Jean Goldman, a professional organizer and move manager who specializes in services for older adults and their families. Jean is also in the process of becoming a Preferred Service Provider with Lamorinda Village.


Here are some tips, gathered from Jean's presentation as well as a variety of online resources:


  • Tackling the clutter can seem an insurmountable task if you don't know where or how to start. The best way to tackle the decluttering of your home, your work space, and your life is to take things one small step at a time.
  • If the task seems overwhelming, identify small projects that will give you a lot of satisfaction. Pick a corner of a room, one bookcase, or one stack of papers to start.
  • Set a goal for an area that you can start and finish in a reasonable amount of time, whether that is 30 minutes or three hours.
  • You may have an event or deadline that can help you decide on the first project. Company coming? Need the guest room closet cleaned out?
  • Keep, Donate, or Discard. Set up three piles, boxes, or bags for items you will keep, those you will sell or donate, and those that must go into the trash or to a hazardous waste drop-off facility.
  • Consider having a second set of eyes when going through your things. That could be a family member or friend. You might offer to trade off with someone, each one helping the other with this task. If you are a full Village member, you might request a volunteer to help you sort through items or perhaps deliver donations on your behalf.


And if you're really overwhelmed, or if you haven't been able to make any progress on your own, you can engage a professional organizer.  


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Lamorinda Village | |
P.O. Box 57
Lafayette, CA 94549