Blog

Age-Friendly Boston Reveals Progressive Action Plan

After a comprehensive assessment that drew the participation of more than 4,000 older adults from 23 neighborhoods across the city, Age-Friendly Boston announced a major milestone with the release of their 75-point action plan to enhance the quality of life for residents of all ages and abilities.

At an event emceed by Boston’s Commissioner for Affairs of the Elderly Emily Shea and featuring Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa, Tufts Health Plan Foundation president Nora Moreno Cargie, and Secretary for the state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner, the action plan was framed as the result of an impressive grassroots-style collaboration with the support of UMass Boston. The action plan was also touted as one of the most detailed and well-constructed that has crossed AARP’s review process. Continue reading

Age-Friendly Berkshires Announces Grant to Pilot Transportation Program

Transportation for older adults is a common topic of discussion for communities looking to become more age-friendly in both urban and rural settings, and Age-Friendly Berkshires will be testing a solution for their region.

Inclusive of 32 cities and towns in a predominantly rural part of Massachusetts, Age-Friendly Berkshires joined the AARP network of age-friendly communities as a region in 2015 and is coordinating a wide range of organizations, planners, businesses and local leaders to improve healthy aging policies and practices.

The new pilot project, which will run from June to December of 2017, is funded by the National Aging & Disability Transportation Center (NADTC) and will provide transportation to pre-arranged medical visits for older adults and those with disabilities without other transportation options. Continue reading

UMass Hosting Summit to Link Behavioral Health and Aging Services

With support from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute is hosting a summit focused on building better collaboration between behavioral health providers and aging services.

Featured speakers include Elder Affairs Secretary Alice Bonner, Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health Joan Mikula, and State Representative Denise Garlick who co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Recovery. Rep. Garlick is formerly the co-chair of the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. Continue reading

Join WalkBoston for Training Event on “Promoting Walkability”

What does it mean for a community to be “walkable” and how can we create neighborhoods that are safe, active, accessible and vibrant?

WalkBoston is hosting a training called “Promoting Walkability: Creating Safe and Active Neighborhoods” on June 2nd from 9:30am-12:30pm, 9:00 am at the Main South CDC in Worcester (875 Main Street). The event will include a walking component in the Worcester Main South neighborhood where attendees will explore issues of walkability firsthand!

Continue reading

MA Healthy Aging Collaborative Receives Award from Dept. of Public Health

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative accepted the Peter R. Lee Healthy Communities Award from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at the annual Ounce of Prevention Conference at the DCU Center in Worcester on March 28th.

Each year, the Department of Public Health recognizes a Massachusetts coalition/partnership for collaborative work to create healthier and more equitable communities. This is the second year in a row a Tufts Health Plan Foundation grantee was selected for this award. Age-Friendly Berkshires was honored last year. Continue reading

Guest Blog Post: Joining Forces for Health Care Decisions Month

The following is a guest blog post from Ellen DiPaola, Esq., President and CEO of Honoring Choices Massachusetts.

This year, Honoring Choices Massachusetts is so pleased to join forces with The Conversation Project  and The Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care for one amazing collaborative initiative: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of National Health Care Decisions Day.

Every competent adult, 18 and older, can download a free “Getting Started Tool Kit”  to make your own health care plan. The Honoring Choices Community Partners across the Commonwealth will be hosting activities and events all month to help consumers make a plan and get connected to person-centered care in their community. Continue reading

Guest Blog Post: MA DPH Raises Prediabetes Awareness for Diabetes Alert Day

The following is a guest Blog Post from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in recognition of Diabetes Alert Day (March 28th)

Type 2 diabetes is a serious and costly public health issue affecting tens of millions of Americans. Older adults have an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes. For those over 65, 1 in every 2 has prediabetes. In Massachusetts, there may be as many as 1.8 million adults who have prediabetes.

What is prediabetes? Prediabetes happens when blood sugar (glucose) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diabetes.

An intervention, however, in the form of a prediabetes screening and referral to an evidence-based lifestyle change program, can help prevent the development of diabetes and the many serious conditions and complications associated with it. Continue reading

Boston Globe Reports on Elder Abuse and Neglect

An ideal age-friendly community is one where residents take responsibility for the well-being of older adults, but as the Boston Globe explored in a recent article, reporting potential abuse or neglect of an elder friend or neighbor may not be so straightforward.

Highlighting a local case of elder neglect that gained national attention, the Globe article mentioned how the state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs and City of Boston offer ways to report concern for older adults.

Making the call is an act that people struggle with, as the Globe found, but different communities take different approaches. The article began with a Billerica police officer that performs wellness checks on behalf of the town’s council on aging and concluded with a letter carrier from Nahant who had no issue making the call for an older adult on his route who experienced a stroke.

See the full article here and the elder abuse hotlines listed by the Globe story below:

Where to report concerns about older adults:

  • Concerns about elder abuse or neglect can be reported statewide to the Elder Abuse Hotline 24 hours a day: 800-922-2275
  • Regarding elders residing in the city of Boston, one can also file a report with Central Boston Elder Services during business hours: 617-442-4200º
  • For questions regarding elder services, other than reports of abuse or neglect, call 800-AGE-INFO (243-4636)
  • If you fear an emergency, call the police: 911

First Director Hired for Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative

By the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative web team

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative announced today that James Fuccione will direct the group’s activities and initiatives as senior director, a new position created to advance age-friendly communities in Massachusetts. Funded by Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the post was designed to lead the statewide collaboration of more than 100 organizations to advance the emerging movement supporting older adults, and to make Massachusetts a national leader in vibrant age-friendly communities and healthy aging policies. Continue reading

West Springfield joins AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities

Cross-posted from MassLive.com, by Conor Berry

Mike Festa, state director of AARP Massachusetts, traveled from Boston to West Springfield on Thursday to welcome the Hampden County city into the organization’s Network of Age-friendly Communities. However, it was Mayor Will Reichelt who formally declared West Springfield an “age-friendly community,” after reading a proclamation that adopted the AARP and World Health Organization’s principles on aging. Read complete article.