Is there an age limit for Villages of San Mateo County members?
Adults of any age may join, but services will be prioritized to those who truly need them. All members can benefit from social activities, cultural events, and vendor referrals.
What areas do Villages of San Mateo County (VSMC) serve?
Currently there are two villages under the VSMC umbrella. Sequoia Village serves members in Belmont, San Carlos, and Redwood City including Redwood Shores. Mid Peninsula Village serves members in San Mateo, Burlingame, and Hillsborough.
How are volunteers vetted?
In addition to an application and interview process, there is a criminal background check for every volunteer. For volunteer drivers there is also a driving record check and verification of automobile insurance.
How are vendors (service providers) vetted?
For a vendor to become a Preferred Provider for Villages of San Mateo County members, a variety of steps are followed, including: recommendations from members; interviews with potential vendors; cautious use of online customer feedback mechanisms; definite use of feedback from members; checks on licensing, bonding and insurance where appropriate; vendor commitment including discount; etc.
Is there liability insurance to cover any mishaps resulting from the actions of a volunteer?
Yes, the volunteer’s insurance would be primary, but the village also purchased a liability policy.
If volunteers go inside a member’s home to help with light home maintenance, how will the Village assure the safety and privacy of the member?
In addition to the background checks, there is detailed training of the volunteers on what they may and may not do when inside a member’s home.
What if a volunteer finds what he perceives to be a medical situation with a member?
A protocol has been written and included in the Volunteer Handbook, and all volunteers are trained in the protocol. If it’s an emergency, the volunteer will immediately call 911 and the village office. If it’s a non-emergency, the volunteer will report the situation to the village office for follow up.
Is there a contract between the member and the village?
Yes, a membership agreement will outline the benefits of membership as well as the responsibilities of both the member and Villages of San Mateo County. The goal is to enable members to continue to live in their own homes and communities as they age, by providing access to support services.
Do the village services compete with the services offered by the adult community centers?
No, part of the village service is to make every member more aware of the many services that are already available in their area. The village will encourage members to participate in activities at local community centers.
Will the membership dues be too much for some older adults to afford?
When paid upfront, the annual membership fee is $600 for an individual, or $750 for a household. If paid monthly, a small processing fee is added. Ask us for a handout that describes the significant value of membership benefits compared with the modest cost of dues. Also ask for information on scholarships that may be available for those with economic hardship.
What do the VSMC membership dues go towards?
Membership fees are used for various purposes including social events, staff salaries, office supplies, vetting and background checks, equipment, insurance, education materials, and outreach programs such as fairs.
What are the most significant benefits of membership?
The primary services that are utilized in most villages are transportation and social interaction. While the value of transportation is clear and measurable, the value of social interaction is possibly greatly underestimated by many people. Studies show that older adults who engage in social activities lead healthier lives and maintain their independence longer. It should also be mentioned that many members are also volunteers, and having volunteer opportunities provides a great sense of self worth and accomplishment for many people.