Membership Changes Lives: Here’s How | San Francisco Village

Here at San Francisco Village, we create a vibrant, active space where aging San Franciscans can live independently and thrive.

Membership means different things to different people, and our activities and localized community have changed the lives of many. Here’s how:

New Friends

The reality is that it can be difficult to meet new friends when we have life changes like retirement. Through activities and neighborhood circles, San Francisco Village membership offers new ways to connect with others.

Member Olive Shaughnessy said membership has allowed her to look inward at herself while creating a sense of community among her peers.

“I have made friends, which I didn’t expect to be able to do at my age — that’s been a really big deal. I feel free to be myself among my peers, instead of being Mom or the Grandma. I’ve been inspired to look more deeply into myself as a senior. It’s meaningful — it’s not superficial,” she said.

Aging and Thriving

Society doesn’t always provide us with much context about this chapter of our lives, which can actually be some of our best! Member Joanne Low said that membership allowed her to face the concept of aging, a topic that is often overlooked.

“I’m still at the younger end of the group, but it’s interesting for me to hear stories about how others have gone through different stages of aging. It gets me to think about it, because I don’t think we think about it,” Joanne said. “As we were growing up, did anyone ever ask what you’re going to be when you’re old? No! I never thought about it, I thought there was a natural progression.”

Part of this process is acknowledging that times have changed. Our familial support systems may not always be as close by as a fellow member or neighbor.

“The world is very different now — our children don’t always live right around us,” Joanne said.

Giving and Receiving Help

Board member Bill Haskell joined San Francisco Village as a younger member, hoping to give help to others. But when his partner unexpectedly had to have open heart surgery, he said he experienced the invaluable feeling of receiving help from other members in the village.

“Village members who we didn’t know brought us hot meals, helped with care. At that point, I was in great need, and the village really came through,” he said. “I got a taste early on of the other side of the village — when you need to ask for help. Most people want to join so they can do activities, have help down the road, but my experience was immediately reversed.”

Like Olive, Joanne, and Bill, you or someone you know could benefit from aging better together. Inquire about San Francisco Village membership today by filling out an application here. And, share this blog with others.