In a major victory for the Healthy Aging Collaborative and the Age- and Dementia Friendly movement, the Baker Administration is taking another big step towards advancing and supporting the opportunity for cities and towns to become better places to grow up and grow old.
Governor Charlie Baker, who has already committed Massachusetts as one of only two Age-Friendly States in the country under the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, is adding Age- and Dementia Friendly best practice options to the Community Compact program.
The Community Compact program, according to the Governor’s website, is a voluntary, mutual agreement entered into between the Baker-Polito Administration and individual cities and towns of the Commonwealth.
In a Community Compact, a community will agree to implement at least one best practice that they select from across a variety of areas. The community’s chosen best practice(s) will be reviewed between the Commonwealth and the municipality to ensure that the best practice(s) chosen are unique to the municipality and reflect needed areas of improvement. Once approved, the written agreement will be generated and signed by both the municipality and the Commonwealth. The Compact also articulates the commitments the Commonwealth will make on behalf of all communities.
Age and Dementia Friendly options are the first best practices related to “Health and Human Services.” Other options for communities range from financial planning, citizen engagement and water resource management, among many others.
The Healthy Aging Collaborative had been advocating for the inclusion of Age and Dementia Friendly options since it’s strategic plan in January 2017 to promote and support the Age-Friendly Community movement. MHAC worked with the Executive Office of Elder Affairs and the Governor’s Council to Address Aging as they took the lead on developing recommendations that led to the options being included in the menu of Community Compact best practices.
MHAC thanks the Baker Administration, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, and the Governor’s Council to Address Aging for recognizing Community Compact as a way to further the Commonwealth’s commitment to being Age- and Dementia Friendly.