Community Support: Community Building

Transition Planning

Aging Your Way – What Happens When You Let Boomers Dream – In Seattle, Washington. The County’s Area Agency for Senior Services asked Boomers to envision what they would need from their communities to maintain their well-being as they age. The agency made a commitment to support projects to transform the ideas into reality. Under the banner, Aging Your Way, 100 stakeholders were consulted to get buy-in, then 12 neighborhood gatherings were held. Many of the projects that were generated have been realized, with new ones popping up. What began as an initiative has morphed into a movement. The Toolkit that describes the history and process that led to this success has just been reprinted as a guide for other communities.

Relationship Banking – WHAT IS RELATIONSHIP BANKING? A way of life in which one balances money-making & relationship-building for the happiness and productivity of self and community. The journey is more important than the destination.Help others to help yourself. The motto is, “Help others to help yourself.” The goal is to create a village of like-minded people, young and old, living with health, confidence, and hope!

The Essential Guide to Doing Transition is a useful guide for organizing teams to bring about community change, based on the Transition Network’s 10 years of experience in 1,400 communities in 50 countries.  This is a great Starter Pack for you to develop practical projects that combat ageism and support positive aging.

Neighborhoods of the Future – Download the white paper from the Agile Ageing Alliance, a social business. It showcases how digital innovation can serve our ageing society. “There is no doubt that preparing an ageing population constitutes a significant challenge, but we can rise to the occasion.”

New Dream Community Action Kit –  The Community Action Kit is a creative, free, and easy-to-use online resource that promotes collective action and civic engagement to build more sustainable, healthier, and happier communities. One of the two downloadable, online documents is a Guide to Sharing:  Exchanging stuff, time, skills, and space.  The other is a Guide to Going Local: Building stronger, healthier, and more vibrant communities. Each guide includes concrete project ideas, step-by-step tips, and video stories.

Seniors Services Guide (55+) – Active Aging Networks shares the results of its members’ work on the Seniors Services Guide (55+) in Slovenia.

Sharing Cities – Activating the Commons – If you have a “people-first-vision” of cities, download this remarkable eBook and discover 137 projects and the enabling policies that have emerged around the world in cities where residents are already putting people first and self-organizing. Shareable, launched in 2009, has become a global movement and is spreading rapidly.

Vital Communities Toolkit – Older adults use a questionnaire to look at how their community measures up on the key assets that support Positive Aging, as a tool to work together and advocate improvements.

Transition – Transition is a movement of communities coming together to reimagine and rebuild our world. It’s been growing since 2005, with civic local engagement linked in a worldwide network based in the UK. The goal is to nurture a caring culture, one focused on supporting each other, both as groups and as wider communities. In practice, Transition Groups are reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves, and weaving webs of connection and support

Dan Buettner: TED Talk – How to live to be 100+  – Dan and team study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age.

Age Friendly Communities

Age and Dementia Friendly Communities – As Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias expand along with the aging population, community leaders are trying to figure out what it takes to be dementia-friendly as well as conforming to the World Health Organization’s guidelines for age-friendly communities. This chart shows the unique features that address the needs of people living with dementia, over and above what is needed within the eight domains of age friendliness.  This is an important guide for every community joining the WHO Age Friendly Cities and Communities Network.

Ireland, World’s First Country to go Age Friendly! Ireland is the first country in the world to become fully affiliated with the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age Friendly Cities & Communities. Each of the 31 sites in Ireland has an Age Friendly strategy and is committed to supporting older people as they age, addressing their expressed concerns. The goal is to make Ireland a great place in which to grow old.

WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities & Communities.  A 2018 report reviews the achievements of the Age-Friendly Network since its founding in 2007, as well as the challenges of developing age-friendly cities and how to overcome them. Eleven accompanying case studies from members of the Network around the world examine local age-friendly programs in depth.  Read more in this issue of Age Platform Europe’s newsletter CoverAge,

Age Friendly Tuymazy – The first member of the WHO Age-Friendly Cities Network from Russia among 33 other cities of the world.

Intergenerational Programming

Age To Age – Generations come together in local communities by linking children and youth with older adults to build friendships and work together toward community improvement.

Generations United – An umbrella network based in Washington DC for organizations engaged in intergenerational programs.  In 2016, Generations United produced two stellar resources that show the value of intergenerational communities and guide community efforts to build connections between generations.

Generations United: Because We’re Stronger Together – An animated video for educating and inspiring communities to embrace and invest in intergenerational solutions.

Creating an Age-Advantaged CommunityA Toolkit for Building Intergenerational Communities that Recognize, Engage and Support All Ages.This resource from Generations United helps communities make intentional efforts to build connections between the generations.

I Need You, You Need Me:  The Young, the Old, and What We Can Achieve Together  is a 2017 report from Generations United and the Eisner Foundation that tells us what we can do to unite the young and the old.  The report provides many illustrated examples of grassroots intergenerational programs and strategies for influencing local government, foundations, and organizations to support intergenerational programs.

10 Steps for Engaging Adults 50+: A Guide for Youth-Serving Organizations. This well-designed guide that should be useful everywhere was developed in the U.S. by Encore.org’s Generation to Generation (Gen2Gen) campaign and The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. It makes the case for engaging older adults in intergenerational programming, leads the reader through ten practical steps for getting age 50+ adults involved as effective volunteers, and offers a format for moving ahead on an Action Plan. 

Housing

Homes Renewed Coalition – Louis Tenebaum believes it is fundamentally unjust to continue medical miracles that add years to lives without also updating homes to enable living with joy and dignity. To right this injustice he has founded the Homes Renewed Coalition with one clear mission: to join forces to significantly increase the number of American homes prepared for residents to live throughout our extended lifespan

Home Care Challenge – Louis Tenenbaum, founder of Homes Renewed Coalition, is a man who addresses housing needs for ageing in place. In the early 90s he saw the start of a huge need and started focusing his home remodeling business on ageing in place. Louis believes it is fundamentally unjust to continue medical miracles that add years to lives without also updating homes to enable living with joy and dignity.

Housing: Creative Thinking from Ireland – Ireland recently announced that it will offer incentives to older adults to downsize their living space and gain proximity to support in retirement. On the one hand, the government is looking at providing incentives for people to sell their homes and downsize to retirement communities. Incentives may include breaks on the capital gains tax normally levied on the home sale. On the other hand, the government is encouraging home-sharing and house-splitting. They are also offering a matching service for sharing with someone who could provide practical support in return for a reduced rent.

In-Law Suites and Backyard Bungalows as Housing Solution. Known by terms ranging from backyard bungalows to granny flats, accessory dwelling units (ADUs) can play a major role in expanding housing options. Watch a set of new videos on ADUs, located toward the bottom of AARP’s Future of Housing home page. Included are many useful resources, including a Home Fit Guide for structural changes to make homes more livable, and a No-Cost, Low-Cost Ideas Pamphlet for smaller, less-expensive changes.

Safety/Accessibility/Emergency Preparedness

Check for Safety:  A Home Fall Prevention Checklist for Older Adults – Falls are often due to hazards that are easy to overlook but also easy to fix.  This checklist will help you find and fix those hazards in your home. It was published by the US Dept of Health & Human Services, CDC Foundation, and MetLife Foundation.

Take Control of Your Health:  6 Steps to Prevent a Fall – The National Council for Ageing in the U.S. has published this poster showing ways to prevent falling.

Emergency Preparedness – As natural and human-caused emergencies increase, every community around the world must pay special attention in planning for preparedness to those most vulnerable, especially older adults and people with disabilities. This Capacity-Building Toolkit for Aging and Disability Networks has been prepared by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, working with national associations representing county-city-state health officials. However, the content is likely to address the interests of communities in other countries as well.

Impact of Climate Change on Older People – Older people with decreased mobility are among those who are most vulnerable and challenged by climate change. Now, we need strategies at every level to educate older people about the risks and strategies like home modification or relocation that mitigate risks.

Storm Safety Checklist – With weather “tantrums” wreaking havoc in many parts of the globe, you might do well to print out Eversource’s checklist of what to do before, during and after a storm.

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