News Release — Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging
June 1, 2016
Jess Maurer, Executive Director, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
207-592-9972 or [email protected]
New Online Network Offers Tools, Guidance and Connection for Age Friendly Communities
On June 1st the Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging (TSLCA) launched a new online guide to building age friendly communities. This online guide is part of the TSLCA Community Network that supports a growing aging-in-place movement that’s responding to a rapidly aging northern New England.
“We’re living longer than ever before, which is wonderful,” said Jess Maurer, TSLCA Project Manager, “and collectively, we’ve decided we want to age in our homes and communities.” However, as we age, our ability to do the things we’ve always done, like drive, prepare meals, and mow the lawn, declines. In response, older adults are coming together in partnership with towns, businesses and organizations to figure out how to support one another into old age and how to build communities that can accommodate the needs of everyone.
With nearly 100 communities across northern New England engaged in “aging in place” or “age friendly community” initiatives, the age friendly community movement in northern New England is quickly gaining momentum. As more communities implement programs, they have a wealth of knowledge that can be shared to guide new communities through the process. They also need technical assistance and support as they grow.
The TSLCA was created to increase the effectiveness of “aging in place” initiatives in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine through shared learning and networking. Maurer said, “It’s an exciting time in our history.” Maurer said, “Leaders across northern New England are building collaborative, community responses to the needs of older adults aging in their communities. This new online tool we’re launching today will guide communities through the process, give them access to tools other communities have successfully used, and connect them to other community leaders engaged in the work.”
Citizens and leaders of each town are experts about the opportunities and challenges of their community. While each community really is different, there are several steps a community can take to increase the likelihood that an aging-friendly initiative will successfully make changes that increase the quality of life of older residents. The TSLCA Community Network walks people through the full process of creating an aging-friendly community. Each page integrates tools that other communities have used, national reports and resources, and TSLCA webinars that dive deeper into the subject. Profiles of communities engaged in the work help new communities see what is possible.
The TSLCA has also created an opportunity specifically for community leaders engaged in this work. The Community Leaders Forum helps leaders build their capacity, connect with others, and benefit from targeted learning opportunities provided via monthly webinars and an online discussion group.