Age-Friendly News Clips – January 1-25

Periodically, the Healthy Aging Collaborative will share news articles from local efforts to make cities, towns and regions in Massachusetts Age- and Dementia Friendly.

Check out the following articles on the momentum of this movement building across the state.


With Tufts Health Plan Foundation Grant, MCOA Continues the Work of Dementia Friendly Massachusetts

Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging (MCOA) is pleased to announce that Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s prestigious President’s Leadership Fund awarded the organization a three-year grant of $302,068 to support Dementia Friendly Massachusetts (DFM).  The grant positions MCOA as the backbone organization for the Dementia Friendly Initiative so more Massachusetts communities embrace and become active dementia friendly communities. MCOA will ensure local, regional, and state actors are coordinating their activities –educating the public, training leaders of local communities, engaging regional service providers and businesses as participants in the DFM movement, developing new public policy, or creating media attention.

The DFM staff will closely collaborate with training partners from the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative and AARP to further develop and disseminate integrated approaches that communities may use to pursue both age-friendly and dementia friendly initiatives in a streamlined fashion.  David Stevens, MCOA’s executive director, stated “The Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s grant will provide the resources to build strategic partnerships, educate and empower municipal leaders who manage local aging services, advocate for policies to improve the quality of life for older adults living with dementia, and ensure the delivery of quality programming to advance healthy aging for older adults.”

MCOA will oversee the DFM Management Committee that includes members from the Alzheimer’s Association, MA/NH Chapter, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Multicultural Coalition on Aging, and Leading Age.  Dementia Friendly means community institutions embed awareness about dementia friendly practices into their programs, staff training and customer service cultures.  For more information, please contact Director of Special Projects, Mary Kay Browne at 413-923-4161.

Public Park in Leominster Dedicated to Alzheimer’s Awareness

Central Park in the City of Leominster, MA  was dedicated to Alzheimer’s awareness on the longest day of the year, June 21st, which coincided with a national series of events and fundraising spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Association.

The park can be found downtown at the intersection of Route 12 and Route 117 with a newly renovated corner for all to see.  Through a collaborate of private and public funding, there are many special features including; purple lighting from dusk to dawn symbolizing the struggle with sun-downing, granite pavers that anyone can sponsor and customize, large perennial garden, purple themed annual flowers, and a large inspirational stone yet to be engraved!  Continue reading

Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative

The Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Initiative (DMFI) is a whole-community response to creating dementia friendly communities. Dementia friendly communities are safe, informed, and respectful and engage all members of the community to meet the needs of the growing number of people living with dementia to remain part of the fabric of our vibrant community life. The DMFI is convened by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Jewish Family & Children’s Services, and many partner organizations.

What does a dementia friendly Massachusetts look like?

By the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative web team

“What does it take?” That was the question attendees grappled with at the Dementia Friendly Massachusetts Summit on Monday, May 9, 2016.What does it take to build a dementia friendly community—a community that is informed, safe and respectful, and enables people living with dementia and those who care about them to live full, engaged lives. Continue reading

Our Parents, Ourselves: Health Care for an Aging Population

This report, supported by The John A. Hartford Foundation, explores the care experienced by older adults in the U.S., including the number and types of care providers they see, along with the frequency with which they have contact with the health care system. It identifies areas where improvements are most needed and recognizes areas in which improvements are already under way. Finally, it notes challenges and opportunities presented by people with multiple chronic conditions and dementia. Source: Dartmouth Atlas

Depression in Older Adults

This fact sheet on Depression in Older Adults was created through a collaboration between Mental Health America and the National Council on Aging.

Anxiety in Older Adults

This fact sheet on Anxiety in Older Adults was created through a collaboration between Mental Health America and the National Council on Aging.