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.
The American Planning Association is accepting nominations for Great Places, Great Neighborhoods, and Great Public spaces, which all present a great opportunity for Age-Friendly Community work to be recognized.
2018 Great Places in America: Suggest Your Favorite Place - YouTube
Aside from elevating good planning practices, the selection criteria overlaps with age-friendliness, including a livable built environment, interwoven equity, and addressing social determinants of health, among other categories.
Tell your social networks that you suggested a 2018 Great Place. Use the official hashtag — #APAGreatPlaces — in your tweets and posts.
APA reviews all suggestions. For those that are received — and in APA’s opinion merit further study — we may request additional information.
Suggestions of interest are considered for designation by APA’s Great Places Task Force, a member-led team committed to sharing the value of planning through stories with influencers nationwide.
This second book follows AARP’s initial Roadmap to Livability that introduces Age-Friendly concepts as well as how to lay the groundwork of identifying and gathering stakeholders. The book also includes plenty of case studies from communities across the country that display how their local Age-Friendly efforts were kick-started.
The initiative, called Innovation@Home, is intended to increase the number and diversity of housing-related approaches available on the Age-friendly World website, an important resource for cities and communities around the world. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative encourages local and regional Age-Friendly efforts in the state to submit their policies and best practices.
The Innovation@Home competition is seeking examples of housing initiatives that foster healthy and active aging. Age-friendly housing enables older people’s basic needs to be met so that they can continue to learn and grow, stay mobile, build and maintain relationships, and contribute to their community.
Housing interventions can take many forms, such as:
improving access to a range of housing options that enable people to be safe and comfortable,
modifying existing housing and or providing assistive technologies to prevent falls and injuries or compensate for changes in people’s physical or mental capacity,
helping older adults, especially on fixed incomes, meet the costs of housing in addition to other basic needs such as food and heating,
facilitating access to transportation, shopping, health and long-term care services.
You’ll be asked to provide a summary of the initiative, targeted populations, desired outcomes, community engagement and the role of older people, reflections and next steps.
About the competition
Entries are due by 4 April 2018.
Practices will be assessed by a panel of judges for relevance, replicability, strong outcomes and innovation. The top three entries will be recognized.
Winners will receive free travel to International Technical Meeting on Ageing at Home, in Québec in October 2018, where they will receive a formal award.
The winning practices will also be publicized broadly through GIA and WHO networks and publications.
With support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, GIA is supporting the Innovation@Home competition as part of a larger initiative to identify a range of housing and related practices that can inspire new age-friendly initiatives in the United States.
About Grantmakers In Aging
Grantmakers In Aging is an inclusive and responsive membership organization comprised of philanthropies dedicated to improving the experience of ageing. GIA members share a recognition that a society that is better for older adults is better for people of all ages.
If the aim of the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations sounds familiar, it is because MACDC and their member Community Development Corporations across Massachusetts make excellent partners for Age-Friendly Community efforts.
MACDC is dedicated to creating places of opportunity where all people can live with dignity while participating in and benefiting from our Commonwealth’s economy. CDCs are focused on improving social determinants of health and studies prove their work actually improves the health and well-being of communities.
New survey results of the state’s home care workforce reveal that home care agencies, on average, are only able to retain three of the 18 workers typically hired over a three month period.
With funding from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the Home Care Aide Council conducted an assessment of the Massachusetts home care aide workforce throughout 2016 and 2017.
This project included both a survey of home care agencies that contract with the Aging Service Access Point (ASAP) network, which took place in the Fall of 2016 and a survey of home care aides employed by these agencies which occurred in the Fall of 2017.
Here are links to the reports from this assessment:
The state’s Complete Streets program – often cited as an example of how age-friendly communities can address their physical environments – is awarding $5.5 million to 23 communities, according to the Springfield Republican and MassLive.com.
Smart Growth America defines Complete Streets as those “designed and operated to enable safe access for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work. They allow buses to run on time and make it safe for people to walk to and from train stations.”
As an example, Springfield will receive $365,022, which includes funding for the installation of buffered bicycle lanes along Wason Avenue, Chestnut Street, Bradley Road and Oak Street. The city also will repaint crosswalks at 64 locations, install warning strips at key intersections and repair sidewalks leading to a number of schools, the grant summary said.
Below is a list of the 23 communities along with their funding amount and project summary:
This northern Berkshire County town will receive $77,902 to improve Middle Road for cyclists by creating a 4-foot shoulder with new pavement markings and bicycle markings symbols. This work represents the first of a four-phase effort to reconstruct Middle Road to more safely accommodate cyclists and pedestrians from the North Adams town line northward to the River Road (Route 8) intersection.
The town on Buzzards Bay will receive $200,000 to build new sidewalks and create better connections for pedestrians from Milton Street to the playing fields used by many people, including members of the Dartmouth Youth Athletic Association and the Burgo Basketball Association. The infrastructure improvements will also facilitate better access between the Bliss Corner area neighborhood, the Bliss Corner retail district and the Joseph DeMello School.
The city will receive $217,445 to conduct multi-modal improvements at six locations in order to improve pedestrian, bicycle and transit access with emphasis on the Cottage Street Corridor. The scope of work will include building new sidewalks, installing new bus shelters, enhancing crosswalks, and putting in place wayfinding signage.
Easton will receive $136,376 to make pedestrian and bicycle improvements at numerous locations across town and better connect residents with the downtown area and attractions including restaurants, residential areas, parks retail shops, and the public library. Work will include installing new crosswalks, signage and markings, and bicycle racks and repair stations.
Worcester County’s third-largest city will receive $219,100 to improve access for pedestrians and cyclists throughout the Upper Common area, making it easier to reach locations including banks, a florist, the Social Security and post offices, as well as the art museum and historical society. The funding will enable Fitchburg to improve 17 crosswalks, upgrade sidewalks and curbs, and install pedestrian-activated warning devices to increase pedestrian visibility and connectivity.
Gardner will receive $327,949 to extend the North Central shared use path, to better connect North Gardner’s social services institutions, banks, neighborhoods and commercial areas and create connections to South Gardner’s commercial district. The funds will also add pedestrian-activated warning devices, new lighting, pavement marking, signage and crosswalks at several locations throughout the town.
Franklin County’s only city will receive $375,070 to install infrastructure that will create better connections for cyclists and pedestrians to key locations including Greenfield Community College, John Oliver Transit Center, residential neighborhoods and downtown attractions. Work will include adding a bike lane and a shared-use path along Colrain Street, constructing a new on-street bike lane on River and Mills Streets, putting in place a new bike lane on Allen Street and adding a new sidewalk on Laurel Street.
The town will receive $398,391 to improve travel at the Liberty Street and County Road intersection and facilitate better access for pedestrians, cyclists and people traveling by car. This intersection is frequently utilized by Hanson Middle School students, and the funds will enable Hanson to add traffic signals, a bicycle detection system, a pedestrian crossing island, crosswalks and sidewalk and curb ramp improvements.
Hubbardston will receive $228,960 to install a new sidewalk along Gardner Road from High Street to the Curtis Recreational Field, increasing connectivity along the primary route through the town center. This work will link to a separate MassDOT project improving sidewalks in order to allow better access to athletic fields for Hubbardston Center School students and local residents.
The central Berkshire County town will receive $323,986 to improve the intersection of Old Stockbridge Road, West Street, Main Street and Walker Street. Improvements being made at there will include narrowing travel lanes, installing new sidewalks, curb extension and ramps and installing a crosswalk. The funds also will allow pedestrian and safety improvements to be made at three locations along Main Street.
The town will receive $202,142 for Williams Street corridor pedestrian improvements that will include an enhanced crosswalk and pedestrian-activated warning device at the Grassy Gutter Road/Merriweather Drive intersection along with safety improvements for pedestrians near the Community House.
Malden will receive $372,784 for traffic calming and intersection improvements. Malden’s Complete Streets efforts include five intersection and two corridor improvement projects to address safety concerns and access for pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users. The intersections include Main/Charles Street; Centre Street/MBTA Busway; Centre Street/Canal Street; Centre Street/Main Street.
The Cape Ann town will receive $242,942 to address three intersections and construct a shared use path to Singing Beach. Pedestrian crossing islands, yield markings, crosswalks and curb extensions will be constructed to calm traffic and reduce pedestrian crossing distances. A shared use path will be constructed along the length of Beach Street to create a safer walking, bicycling and driving environment for the more than 100,000 guests visiting the transit-accessible Singing Beach annually.
Mansfield will receive $200,000 to replace the existing northerly Park Street sidewalk with a shared-use path, creating a better route between downtown and East Street, where the middle and high school complex and skate park are located. The shared-use path will also connect to the WWII Veterans’ Memorial Trail, creating a vibrant network connection to neighborhoods along the path to the north and south.
Maynard will receive $150,492 to construct traffic calming curb extensions and pedestrian crossing improvements at multiple locations surrounding its Central Business District. The improvements will facilitate better access to local neighborhoods, businesses and destinations such as the public library.
Melrose will receive $377,211 to improve the pedestrian and bicycle connections to the High/Middle School complex and improve connections to transit. The city will install designated bicycle lanes and signage, improve pedestrian signals and timings and repair sidewalks and new crosswalks on popular routes, such as Crystal and Main streets. A north-south bicycle network will be created through Main Street from the Wakefield line south to the intersection of West Wyoming Avenue, with shared lane markings and signage.
This Worcester County town on the Rhode Island border will receive $200,000 to install approximately 1,000 feet of new sidewalk along the west side of Central Street from Providence Street to the state border. This will facilitate better access for pedestrians to important destinations throughout the town center and link travelers to Rhode Island to the south, Main Street and the Southern New England Trunkline Trail.
Plymouth will receive $200,000 to make pedestrian safety and accessibility improvements by installing new sidewalks and ramps along Allerton Street. The project will assist the town in reaching its Master Plan goals of improving its downtown area, creating better walking routes to schools and allow pedestrian access to tourist attractions.
Sandisfield, a Berkshire County town on the Connecticut border, will receive $50,750 to install two solar-powered speed feedback signs on Route 183 and on Route 57 in order to calm traffic and improve the walking or bicycling environment. The funds will also enable the town to install bicycle amenities at the library and playground, as well as bicycle parking at the Town Hall Annex, Old Town Hall and Wilber Park.
The town along the Cape Cod Canal and Cape Cod Bay will receive $200,000 to improve the safety and mobility of Sandy Neck Road through sidewalk improvements and a park connection. Sandy Neck Road, which extends between Route 6A and Sandy Neck Park, serves as an important link between local businesses on Route 6A, residences in adjacent neighborhoods and the park, a popular year-round public recreation area on the bay.
The city will receive $365,022 to construct 11 projects from its Complete Streets Prioritization Plan. This includes making pedestrian and bicycle improvements at numerous locations and carrying out work such as repainting crosswalks, installing warning strips at key intersections, repairing sidewalks, installing buffered bicycle lanes and putting in place bicycle signage and shared use markings.
West Boylston will receive $190,374 to construct new sidewalks and eliminate a gap in the downtown pedestrian network. This will connect the large Pine Arden subdivision and Linwood Lane to the Elementary and High School sidewalk system, allowing access to the Goodale Park Sports Facility and to the downtown area.
Winthrop will receive $261,680 to revitalize French Square in Winthrop Center in order to improve safety and encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Work will include widening the sidewalk on Hagman Road, adding public amenity features, new benches, signage for pedestrians and bicyclists, street lighting, and installing traffic calming measures.
Based on the 2017 Summit on Business and the Future of Aging in Los Angeles, the report includes commentary from the summit’s participants, as well as data and insights from multiple sources and identifies opportunities, innovations, human capital strategies, and forward-looking policies and practices to realize the upside of aging.
It offers thoughtful, fact-filled assessments of the growing economic power of older adults, the underutilized resource of mature workers, advances that can dramatically extend lifespan, health and productivity, and a call to action.
Some of the key insights include the following:
By the end of this decade, annual consumer spending by age 60-and-over adults globally will reach $15 trillion (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
Americans over 50 account for $7.6 trillion in direct spending and related economic activity (Oxford Economics/AARP)
Older adults in the U.S. dominate 119 out of 123 consumer packaged-goods categories (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)
The proportion of people in the working-age population worldwide who are 50 or older will grow from 20 percent in 2010 to 30 percent by 2050. (The Boston Consulting Group)
Older workers in the U.S. have similar or lower injury and illness rates than younger counterparts (CDC)
Fewer than half of companies worldwide factor longevity into their strategic planning (The Economist)
In “The Business of Aging” essay series, prominent thought leaders – many of which make contributions to the report – discuss solutions for longevity in conjunction with innovation, finance, and health.
The City of Salem was among the first communities in the state to both join the AARP/WHO Network of Age-Friendly Communities and also come out with an action plan. The “Salem for All Ages” task force is once again showing leadership with a “Year One” report that highlights progress on the items laid out in the city’s Age-Friendly action plan.
Beyond the accomplishments and continued fact-finding that will improve quality of life for older adults and all residents, the report is an example of a community that has successfully convened a broad-based coalition of partners and stakeholders. Those individuals and organizations are listed in multiple subcommittees focused on different subjects like housing and transportation, in addition to the Leadership Council led by Mayor Kim Driscoll.
Salem for All Ages has also provided examples of how to set reachable goals to improve transportation by securing funding from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation for a Intra-city Shuttle Feasibility Study. The funding and the progress to date on that program is mentioned in the report.
In addition to the Age-Friendly Domains, Salem for All Ages has chosen senior volunteerism as an area of focus. The Volunteerism Subcommittee’s overarching goal was to determine a way to better connect seniors interested in volunteering in the community with organizations and causes in need of volunteers. An existing website was identified that will be updated with appropriate information, which will be accompanied by an awareness campaign.
The MIT AgeLab and AARP are accepting applications from high school juniors and seniors in New England for the 2017-2018 OMEGA scholarship meant for students who are actively working to create connections between teens and older adults in your community.
The MIT AgeLab OMEGA Scholarship is due in six weeks and students are encouraged to apply.
Three $1000 OMEGA college scholarships are available to recognize and reward the efforts of students to create multigenerational connections in their communities. Each OMEGA scholarship will award a $1000 college scholarship to the winning student and $1000 to the winning student’s high school organization to support its activities to build relationships between teens and older adults.
Applications are live now! Apply here today! Completed applications are due March 31, 2018.
The last round of grants included an award to the Framingham Board of Health to co-lead an Age- and Dementia Friendly effort in that city that will bring community partners together.
Metrowest Health Foundation is a key partner for the advancement and promotion of healthy aging best practices and is represented on the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative Executive Committee and Advisory Council.