The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is a network of leaders in community, health and wellness, government, advocacy, research, business, education, and philanthropy who have come together to advance healthy aging.
According to the American Planning Association (APA), a “Great Place” in your community demonstrates the importance of planning, provides an opportunity for promotion and tourism, and illustrates how local policies and projects strengthen our communities.
These “Great Places” often highlight Age-Friendly activities and the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages communities to make a suggestion online to the APA by April 17 if their city, town or neighborhood meets the criteria. Last year, Lowell’s Canalway Cultural District and the Village of Shelburne Falls made the 2018 list from Massachusetts.
Suggesting a Great Place is simple. First, check to see if the location you’re nominating is already a Great Place. Next, get to know what characteristics make a place stand out.
Great Neighborhoods, Great Streets, and Great Public Spaces come in many forms, but they all have characteristics that are grounded in good planning practices. Review the characteristics on this website to see which are part of your place’s story.
Boston-based home-sharing website Nesterly already landed a feature article in AARP’s annual “Where We Live” publication that displays examples of livability and Age-Friendly work from across the country.
AARP revisited Nesterly in their recent Livable Communities newsletter where they also spotlighted other housing resources like the “Creating Housing For All” Brochure from the National Association of Home Builders.
In preparation for Older Americans Month in May, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has announced a theme that compliments the Age- and Dementia Friendly Movement. The 2019 theme is “Connect, Create, Contribute,” which encourages older adults and their communities to:
Connect with friends, family, and services that support participation.
Create by engaging in activities that promote learning, health, and personal enrichment.
Contribute time, talent, and life experience to benefit others.
According the to Older American’s Month webpage, ACL states “Communities that encourage the contributions of older adults are stronger! By engaging and supporting all community members, we recognize that older adults play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, networks, and lives.”
ACL has a list of resources available to help people, communities and organizations recognize and celebrate throughout the month of May, including social media graphics, sample news articles, and sample proclamations for local government officials.
MassDOT recently announced $5.1 million in additional funding awards for Regional Transit Authorities (RTA) across the Commonwealth to implement best practices and innovative services to benefit customers.
The full announcement of the RTA award winners are available here on the MassDOT Blog. Awards were selected based upon factors such as whether projects will increase ridership, demonstrate innovation, serve a priority population, be financially sustainable, and provide cost savings or operational efficiencies.
Applicants were also requested to have complete business plans and present measurable milestones. All project proposals were selected on a competitive basis.
“These awards will support Regional Transit Authorities as they launch projects to enhance existing options and implement best practices,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The combination of operating and capital funding will help RTAs develop innovative plans to provide more reliable service to riders in communities across the Commonwealth.”
“By working closely with our Regional Transit Authority partners, we are helping to ensure that people throughout Massachusetts have the best options for reaching jobs and economic opportunities,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Each of these projects will help improve Regional Transit Authority services and we look forward to seeing their completion.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is pleased to award $5.1 million in additional funding to Regional Transit Authorities,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “We look forward to the award winners carrying out these projects which will provide benefits such as more frequent service on some routes, pilot programs, and improved customer experience and outreach.”
Award winners will now be required to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with MassDOT to address the project goals.
An “Aging in Community” workshop, including presentations on Age- and Dementia Friendly Communities, will be held on 29 March at Lasell College, with satellite venues at Berkshire Community College and Cape Cod Community College.
Presentations by Massachusetts village-type organizations will address the following:
How they create and maintain an environment that encourages social connections and engagement;
Provide information and education to help their members maintain good health and quality of life at reasonable costs;
Provide personal support for members needs arising in daily living;
Encourage member participation in activities that provide a sense of involvement, contribution, and achievement.
Other presentations will focus on more broadly based initiatives: The Age-Friendly Community; The Dementia-Friendly Community; The Age Friendly University.
This event is co-sponsored by CNAP Alliance and the Village to Village Network. Complete information on the workshop, a detailed agenda, and an online registration form can be found at www.cnapalliance.org
Lack of transportation has a profound impact on an older adult’s well-being and can lead to social disconnection. The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and Lyft are partnering to pilot a senior center outreach and education program to test older adult willingness to learn ridesharing, and to determine the positive impact ridesharing can have on a person’s well-being.
NCOA and Lyft are looking for three senior centers to creatively implement a Lyft ridesharing pilot into a current transportation program. The site would work with NCOA and Lyft to engage, educate, and encourage center members and socially isolated community members to try out ridesharing options. The partners have identified 20 cities with strong Lyft teams and will choose three centers from these cities for the pilot.
Each selected site will: – Be trained by Lyft staff on technical implementation of Lyft features.
– Host educational sessions on the use of Lyft Ridesharing.
– Engage 150 participants to participate.
– Market transportation option to site participants.
– Add innovative methods to successfully implement the transportation program in a senior center setting. For example, during educational sessions include social activities and discussions.
– Staff will collect stories and photos to illustrate the impact.
– Staff and participants will complete pre- and post-class evaluations to inform national outreach.
Each selected site will be within one of these 29 Cities/areas: Albany / Schenectady, NY; Bergen / Passaic, NJ; Boston; Buffalo / Niagara, NY; Detroit; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Hartford, CT; Honolulu; Jersey City, NJ; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Monmouth / Ocean, NJ; Nassau / Suffolk, NY; New Haven / Meriden, CT; New Orleans; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Rochester, NY; Sacramento, CA; San Diego, CA; Sarasota, FL; Syracuse, NY; Tampa, FL; Tucson, AZ; West Palm, FL
Funding for Participating Centers Selected sites will be awarded $10,000 for implementation of this program, which can be allocated to costs related to: personnel, programmatic, transportation, and/or consultants and meetings. A simple line item budget will be required during the RFP process.
Request for Proposals Released: February 25, 2019
Informational Sessions Scheduled: March 1, 2019 at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT/noon MT/11 a.m. PT
Grant Submission Deadline: March 15, 2019, end of day
Applicants Notified: March 29, 2019
A discussion among a cohort of stakeholders from rural areas in states across the country led to themes and concerns, but also ideas and examples of solutions on how to improve healthy aging in their communities. Massachusetts made an appearance thanks to the experience of Peg McDonough from Age-Friendly Berkshires.
Bridges Together, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to providing training and tools on the art & science of intergenerational engagement, announced their grant opportunity.
Teachers, librarians, staff from senior centers, senior housing and human service agencies and others are invited to apply for a grant to receive free training on the award-winning BRIDGES Intergenerational (IG) Program Curriculum so that they can implement BRIDGES in their own communities during the Spring, 2019.
Available to schools, senior organizations and human service agencies, Bridges Together will be awarding eight (8) communities with a BRIDGES program of their choice. Preference will be given to organizations and schools that serve or are committed to including vulnerable populations: four in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island as well as four in other states. This grant is made possible by Tufts Health Plan Foundation and The Retirement Research Foundation.
The award-winning, evidence-based BRIDGES Program Curricula Suite unites older adults and young people in their own communities for shared experiences and cooperative learning. Through the BRIDGES Programs, generations grow in mutual respect, understanding, and friendship. Positive attitudes about aging are fostered and older adults are supported in their socio-emotional development. Studies have shown that positive attitudes about aging and social engagement can improve health and longevity. Additionally, the BRIDGES programs support national Common Core education standards as the students and older adults engage with one another through shared experiences and collaborative learning. Groups of about eight mature adults volunteer in the children’s classroom, library, or community center over several weeks. Under the guidance of the teacher or trained staff member, the volunteers work in pairs with small groups of students. Together, the volunteers and students share their own life experiences and those of their families. These discussions are supplemented with creative, educational, fun projects that promote shared learning.
Details about these programs can be found in our BRIDGES Program Curricula Suite Overview. The BRIDGES Programs have been running across the United States since 1991, involving more than 20,000 older adults and youth. This Spring 2019 grant is to pilot an online training platform to expand the reach of BRIDGES. Applicants will have four BRIDGES program curricula from which to choose. Each involve older adults collaborating with children of different age groups. The four programs and their target ages for youth are:
BRIDGES: Our Stories (K-3)
BRIDGES: Growing Together (3-6)
BRIDGES: Our Smarts (7-8)
BRIDGES: Lifelong Journeys. (9-College)
Below is the timeline:
March 15th @ 11:59 PM: Deadline to submit grant applications to Bridges Together
March 20th: Notifications will be sent on status.
April 13th: The online six-hour BRIDGES training course must be completed by your team together.
June 21st: The six-week BRIDGES program must be completed.
To download a link to the grant application or more info, visit:
The latest AARP Livable Communities Newsletter has a feature titled “Boston Is Putting Driverless Cars Through an Age-Friendly Road Test.” The article is focused on the public-private partnership that is setting an example for other cities to follow when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh has made such future planning a present-day priority. The city has developed a regulatory framework and implemented a public-private partnership with AV firms to road test, adapt and improve the technology. As part of that process, Boston — which is a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities — is ensuring that the AVs on its streets are able to serve the particular needs and mobility differences of older adults and people with disabilities. When the city government approved on-street testing of the vehicles, it required that such passengers make up at least 15 percent of the rides provided during the pilot phase of vehicle testing.