An age-friendly community is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.
LifePath, together with its partner Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is leading an initiative towards helping the North Quabbin and Franklin County become more age- and dementia-friendly.
The age-friendly process
The AARP lays out a three-phase process for becoming age-friendly: commitment, needs assessment and action planning, and implementation.
Phase 1: Commitment
25 of our area’s 30 towns have signed on to the age-friendly project.
Phase 2: Needs Assessment & Action Planning
As part of the Age-Friendly project, we undertook a region-wide needs assessment, including a survey and focus groups, to identify what people think about aging in place here in Franklin County and the North Quabbin. The raw data was collected from almost 2,000 surveys and 4 focus groups, and LifePath will continue to work with our partner, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments—a remarkable resource—to produce a results-based overview of the collected data. The goal of the project is to use the data to identify priorities that we can work on as a region, and subregions, and to focus on what we can change in the short term and what needs longer range planning.
Initial results of the Age- and Dementia-Friendly survey results were shared virtually on November 1, 2022. Here are the resources from the event:
- LifePath’s Age- and Dementia-Friendly Survey Virtual Event recording
- Slide deck presented
- Raw data from the survey (.pdf format)
- Town-specific data (.xls format)
In the session, we asked for those interested in volunteering to dive deeper into this data, to become a part of work groups that convened around four areas:
- Housing and Outdoor Spaces
- Communication/Information/Social and Civic Participation
- Health Services/Community Support
The steering committee will develop the action plan from these inputs.
Phase 3: Implementation
Implementation of the action plan involves the work of many stakeholders and may take 3-10 years.
The dementia-friendly project aims to raise awareness about and educate one another about dementia.
Contact us for more information about age- and dementia-friendly or to get involved.
- March 2023 – Workgroups and Action Planning
- Sept. 2022 – Focus groups and data analysis
- June 30, 2022, Program Manager Departure
- April 7, 2022, Survey Update, Public Health Nurse Particiation, Town Enrollment Update
- September 1, 2021, Needs Assessment and Enrollment Updates
- June 25, 2021, AARP Designation, Funding Opportunity, and Healthy Aging Spotlight
- March 23, 2021, AARP Designation, Funding Opportunity, Training Opportunities and Healthy Aging Spotlight
Stories from our blog about age- and dementia-friendly communities:
- Age-Friendly Communities: Implementation and Success in Rural Areas April 14, 2023
- Making Tracks Toward Becoming Age- and Dementia-Friendly November 18, 2022
- The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Report on Ageism September 23, 2022
More articles on age-friendly issues