I received many queries recently along the lines of: “We’ve heard so much lately about Hyattsville Aging in Place. Has it started operations? How does it work?”

Well, Auntie can now announce that the volunteer program launched on February 6.

As many of you already know, Hyattsville Aging in Place (HAP) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization formed to help older residents of Hyattsville live safely and comfortably. As those of us older than 60 know, it gets more and more difficult to do some of the activities we took for granted when we were younger.

Believing that the community as a whole benefits when older residents are able to continue living in their own homes, HAP has developed a network of volunteers to help them with such tasks as running errands and minor household chores. The group recently completed training of its first volunteers who also had to pass a background check.

So how does it work? City residents who are either over age 60 or disabled should request a membership application by calling HAP at 301.887.3101. A volunteer can arrange a visit and help with the application process if needed.

Once a resident becomes a member, he or she needs only to call the same number for services. If the member needs help changing some light bulbs or getting a ride to a doctor’s office, HAP will send out one of the more than 30 volunteers to provide assistance.

The launching of the volunteer program is the culmination of more than a year of work by a group of local residents. It is part of the “village” movement – a growing effort in the D.C. area and around the country – in which neighbors come together to run errands, provide transportation for seniors and make sure that their older neighbors are not isolated.

Hyattsville Aging in Place also sponsors a series of informational programs and social events throughout the year. The programs are open to the public, so look out for those in the HL&T community calendar or at the HAP website.

Compiled by Molly Parrish