The City of Boston’s Age-Friendly initiative continues to make great strides to support older adults and people living with Dementia and a few of those accomplishments are highlighted in a ‘Year Two’ achievements report.
Among the exciting changes was in the name of the commission that oversees the Age- and Dementia Friendly efforts, and many more services as both a council on aging and area agency on aging. What was previously known as the Commission on Affairs of the Elderly is now the Age Strong Commission in response to the changing aging landscape in Boston and in an effort to continue to connect and engage with older adults in the city. Aside from the name change, the re-brand included updated website content and navigation, a new mission and vision statement, and a set of values we assert in our work, including respect, inclusivity, and joy. Feedback from the community was requested at multiple stages of the process.
Other steps taken by the city include a partnership with the Main Streets organizations to pilot an Age and Dementia-Friendly business initiative in West Roxbury and Hyde Jackson Square in Jamaica Plain. Twenty-four businesses have been certified and the UMass Boston Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging will be evaluating this pilot to bring it city-wide.
The city also completed its second Civic Academy, a six-week course emphasizing advocacy skill development, as well as enhanced the curriculum and experience based on the first cohort’s feedback. Students engage with municipal department representatives, as well as State and Federal Agencies to learn about aging-related policies and how best to interact with elected officials and representatives to impact positive change. Content is rich and informative, and students learn how to be advocates for issues that affect them.
For more information on the year-two achievement, see the Commission’s report here.