News

Independence—It’s What Older People Want

Cross-posted from Health Affairs Blog
By Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, President of the John A Hartford Foundation

We already know what older people want.  A study from the National Conference of State Legislatures and AARP, as well as other studies, confirm, time and again, that the vast majority of us want to live in our homes and communities as we age, and, if possible, to avoid dependence on others and institutionalization. Continue reading

Salem latest Mass. community to join AARP Age-Friendly Network

The City of Salem has officially joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. On October 22, 2015, AARP presented Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll with a certificate congratulating the city, the mayor, and committee members on their work to make Salem more livable for people at all ages and all stages of life. Continue reading

Meet 50 remarkable individuals who are changing what it means to grow older in America

2015 influencers agingNext Avenue, a new public media service for American’s 50+ population, provides news, information and advice for older adults. The published their first annual list of Influencers in Aging to recognize some of the thought leaders, innovators, advocates and everyday people who are helping redefine what it means to grow old in America.

Joseph Coughlin, director of MIT AgeLab and many others working in Massachusetts made the list!

See who else is on the list and follow the conversation on Twitter at hashtag #InfluencingAging.

Why a Boston Suburb Combined Its High School and Senior Center

Cross-posted from CityLab

By Amy Crawford

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Photo by: Richard Mandelkorn

“You’ll have to excuse us, because we’re about to serve lunch, and it’s total chaos,” says Marilyn Hurwitz, striding through the busy lobby of the Swampscott Senior Center toward a multipurpose room where some three dozen elderly women and a handful of men sit waiting for their salmon fillets, spinach salads, and split-pea soup.

The ladies—who, in the gracious style of their generation, wear skirts and stockings, accessorized with lipstick and tasteful jewelry—sit chatting, their walkers and canes parked nearby. But should lunch be late, Hurwitz assures me, they are capable of creating a ruckus.

“You should see the poker games,” she says.

A tendency toward unruly cafeteria behavior is one thing the senior citizens in Swampscott, a seaside Boston suburb, have in common with the town’s youth, but it’s not the only thing. In fact, the airy 7,500-square-foot facility that hosts their knitting circles, card games, and exercise classes shares space with the local high school.

Continue reading

Member Spotlight: Lisa Krinsky, LICSW, LGBT Aging Project

Lisa Krinsky, LICSW, serves as the Director of the LGBT Aging Project.  Read her full bio here.

What is the LGBT Aging Project?
We work to ensure that LGBT older adults and caregivers In Massachusetts have equal access to resources, services, and programs. When we started the LGBT Aging Project in 2001, we realized that the needs of LGBT elders weren’t always understood by mainstream elder care providers, and the LGBT community wasn’t really mindful of older adults. We try to work in three areas: cultural competency training for mainstream elder care providers; community building and civic leadership for LGBT older adults themselves; and public policy and research to change the bigger picture. Continue reading

How Community-Based Organizations Can Support Value-Driven Health Care

Cross-posted from HealthAffairsBlog
By Anand Parekh, MD, MPH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Robert Schreiber, MD, Hebrew SeniorLife

As our health care system transforms more quickly than ever from paying for volume to paying for value, providers have strong incentives to ensure that their patients’ care plans are reinforced and supported outside the clinical setting in people’s homes and communities. Continue reading

50 Years In, the Older Americans Act is at a Turning Point

By MA Healthy Aging Collaborative

Update: On July 16, 2015, the Senate passed the bill to reauthorize the Older Americans Act (OAA). This is an important milestone that will help ensure the continuation of vital programs and services for older Americans and their caregivers. Here is Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee’s statement on Senate passage of the OAA reauthorization.

In July 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Older Americans Act into law. For the past 50 years, the OAA has supported healthy aging by funding a national network of social and nutrition services such as home-delivered and congregate meals, preventive health services, caregiver support, transportation, job training, elder abuse prevention, and more. Continue reading

Assessing the Age-Friendliness of Your Community

By Angel Bourgoin, PhD, JSI | MA Healthy Aging Collaborative website

A crucial step in improving the age-friendliness of your community is to identify its current strengths and areas for improvement. Conducting a community assessment can help you to engage community members, highlight problems as well as their potential solutions, challenge assumptions, and offer credibility to important stakeholders. Conducting a baseline assessment is also one of the first steps to applying to join the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. Examples of age-friendly assessments from New York City, Washington D.C., and Portland, Oregon are available online. Continue reading