There are two opportunities for age- and dementia friendly communities and stakeholders in the MHAC network and beyond to advocate on behalf of older adults and people living with dementia.
First, the Healey-Driscoll Administration convenes a council that is holding Regional Engagement Sessions across the Commonwealth, where stakeholders and members of the public are welcome to partake in discussions that will inform the substance of the eventual Economic Development Plan. Below are the confirmed locations and dates of these sessions and registrations for these in-person listening sessions are available here.
- May 25, 2023: Southeast Regional Session at Bridgewater State University, Bridgewater, 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
- June 12, 2023: Greater Boston Regional Session at Roxbury Community College, Boston, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
- June 13, 2023: Merrimack Valley Regional Session at Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill, 12:00 – 2:00 p.m.
- June 20, 2023: Cape Cod Regional Session at Chatham Community Center, Chatham, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
More sessions will be announced and the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is encouraging partners to attend any of these sessions to convey the following messages that support older adults and people living with dementia.
- Inclusion of older workers as employees and the benefits of a multi-generational workforce
- Encouraging employers to support working caregivers
- Including older adults in career building/advancing initiatives, including tech training
- Strengthening the care workforce (home health aides, CNAs and etc.)
- The overlap of housing and transportation issues from the Age-and Dementia Friendly perspective
- Potential benefits of business recognizing and accommodating older customers
- Dementia awareness training for businesses
If there is interest in attending and making comments, and if there any questions, please contact James Fuccione at MHAC.
The second opportunity to add perspective on healthy aging comes from a survey from the Mass Cultural Council, which is partnering with Open Door Arts and Art Reach to learn more about the community of disabled artists, patrons, and arts and culture organizations to help make the arts/cultural sector more accessible, inclusive, and representative of people with disabilities. Arts and culture organizations include, and are not limited to, theaters, museums, historical sites, botanic gardens, zoos and aquariums, etc.
We hope that MHAC stakeholders filling out this survey will help highlight needs of older adults, people living with dementia and caregivers.