Updates from the
Age-friendly Innovation Exchange
|Thank you to everyone who participated in the Age-friendly Innovation Exchange (AFIX) newsletter for Winter 2018.
Due to an influx of excellent and informative articles, the newsletter will be released in three parts, the one you see below and two others that will be distributed two weeks apart.
Over the past few months, the AFIX network of age-friendly contacts has grown substantially, demonstrating a growing commitment to establishing age-friendly environments. Leading up to the IFA 14th Global Conference on Ageing (August 8-10, 2018), there will be regular newsletters and webinars aimed at further strengthening the community's age-friendly efforts. As such, keep an eye out for the following AFIX initiatives:
Social inclusion & the design of age-friendly spaces, presented by Dr Ryan Woolrych,
Wednesday, February 28 - 1pm - 2pm GMT
Updates from the world of Age-friendly
Older people make their own films about the urban environment
How can we introduce modern technology to seniors and at the same time share their experiences, needs and knowledge? The Life Filming method provide people with a tool to express themselves digitally.
Life Filming is a workshop over five weeks when older people learn how to take photos and produce films. It starts with learning camera functions and assignments such as taking portraits, searching for triangles and shooting opposites. After each assignment, the participants show their images in an exhibition.
During the week between each workshop participants are given homework such as filming or photographing What makes me happy/angry. The next workshop starts with discussing the images and films produced.
The content can be changed to obtain information in new ways, about our urban environment for example. A joint project started in the autumn of 2016, launched by the City of Gothenburg's development centre and the Health Promotion and Prevention Unit in district Centrum with the aim to increase the city's knowledge of what is important for seniors in the urban environment. Seven participants created films and images from their perspective.
Carina Ahrle, one of the participants
is most passionate about age segregation.
"I think it's so bad to bundle us oldies in one place, young in one and families on one. My dream, as I did one of the movies about, is that there would be accommodations where you choose to integrate so that you could be a babysitter at some point and be able to use each other.
Others in the project chose to highlight what it's like to be visually impaired in the urban environment or what to think of in emerging areas, and Carina herself also made another film about what it's like to be bound to a walker or permobil in a city environment.
Kerala's demographic transition from a state with high mortality and high fertility to one with a low count in both of these, outpaces that of the rest of India by 25 years as per Kerala Development Report of the Planning Commission. Currently at 14% of the total population of Kerala, the number of those above 60 years is expected to reach 40% by 2061. The declining birth rates and the migration of the young, coupled with the increase in life expectancy to an average of 72 years, Kerala is fast aging with a greying population and increasing demands on the fiscal, health and social security mechanisms.
Initiative through Local Self Governments (LSGs)
Kerala Institute of Local Administration (KILA) with the technical support of HelpAge India is guiding LSGs in developing a way forward to make Kerala State in India, Age Friendly.
Local Mobilisation of senior citizens into Grama Sabhas, Elders Self Help Groups, Geriatric Clubs, Senior Citizen Associations (SCAs) etc will form the back-bone of the Age Friendly LSG initiative.ElderDay Centres established will ultimately develop into a "RESOURCE CENTRE" for Senior Citizens in that LSG.The Age Friendly initiative will be "of the people, by the people, for the people" in 941 Grama Panchayaths, 152 Block Panchayaths, 14 District Panchayaths, 87 Municipalities and 6 Municipal Corporations.
Age Friendly Kerala
Kerala's experience with local self-government has been distinct due to greater financial devolution and people's participation in development planning. Thus direct action from ground level as per specific local needs, is preparing an Age Friendly environment.
The Kerala state government initiative through "Sayamprabha" programme is supporting LSGs in furthering the cause of elder friendly environment.
Kerala is at a stage where it can do ground breaking work into making Ageing, a wonderfully productive period of life.
A Memory Café Network: Scaling Access to Social Connection
Dementia can be lonely, both for the person living with dementia and for care partners. Stigma and lack of public awareness, along with challenges caused by symptoms, can lead to social isolation. Since 1997 when Dutch psychiatrist Bere Miesen started the first Alzheimer's Café, these welcoming gatherings have been restoring access to the simple joy of visiting the neighborhood café, and helping to weave deeper threads of community.
Memory cafés are held at community locations such as libraries, restaurants, museums, senior centers, or houses of worship. Each is designed so that people with dementia will feel safe, supported and successful. For care partners, they are a much-needed coffee break and a chance to meet others. Many involve participatory creative arts, which foster communication and emotional connection.
In 2014, Jewish Family & Children's Service in Boston launched the second memory café in Massachusetts, and six months later started the Percolator Memory Café Network to help cafés spread. Massachusetts is now home to over 70 cafés, including a Spanish-speaking café, and cafés designed to include people with intellectual/developmental disabilities who also live with dementia. Other states are considering developing a similar network to support the proliferation of cafés.
The Percolator's activities include:
- Statewide online directory of memory cafés at www.jfcsboston.org/MemoryCafeDirectory
- Memory Café Toolkit in English at www.jfcsboston.org/MemoryCafeToolkit, and in Spanish along with a how-to webinar at www.jfcsboston.org/GuiaCafeDeMemoria
- Forum for sharing café models, and troubleshooting challenges
- Guest artist/activity facilitator directory for use by café coordinator
- Ensuring that dates/times of new cafés complement rather than conflict
- Establishing shared standards to promote high-quality cafés
- Encouraging the development of cafés in communities with fewer resources
- Promoting public awareness about cafés, and collaborating with the "dementia friendly community" movement
For information or to join the Percolator mailing list, please contact Beth Soltzberg, MSW, MBA, at email@example.com or 781-693-5628.
In 2015, Sarasota County became Florida's first community to join the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Research, Community Engagement and Communications represent three major thrusts of our age-friendly efforts to date and we are pleased to share the following update:
Research: Age-friendly Sarasota has recently completed its Action Plan with goals in all 8 domains of livablity to support active, healthy and engaged living for persons across all life stages and abilities throughout the life course. To date, Age-Friendly Sarasota work has led to 4 published scholarly articles and 2 Promising Practices.
Black, K., & Lipscomb, V.B. (2017). The promise of documentary theatre to
counter ageism in age-friendly communities. Journal of Aging Studies. (42), 32-37.
Hyer, K., Badana, A., Black, K., Haley, W. (2017).
Preparing for Florida's Older
Adult Population Growth With User-Friendly Demographic Maps. F
lorida Public Health Review.
Black, K., Badana, A., & Hyer, K. (2016). Caregivers' Considerations on Age-
friendly Community Features.
Annals of Gerontology and Geriatric Research, 3(
Black, K., & Hyer, K. (2016). From Aging-in-Community to Age-friendly
Community: Translating Research into Practice.
The International Journal of Aging and Society.6
Black, K. (2016). Promising Practices Brief: Documentary Theatre to Counter
Ageism in an Age-Friendly Community. Age-Friendly Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida.
Black, K. (2016). Promising Practices Brief: Municipal Resolution for Voluntary
Universal Design and Visitability Program for Residential Housing. Age-Friendly Sarasota, Sarasota, Florida.
Community Engagement: Age-Friendly Sarasota has conducted nearly 200 presentations since its inception. Though the majority of efforts are local, Age-Friendly Sarasota currently partners with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs on a dementia-friendly community initiative and, along with AARP Florida, also partners on a statewide Communities for a Lifetime initiative. Age-Friendly Sarasota is also working with the regional Metropolitan Planning Organization on the conduction of safety audits as the region was recently identified in the nation's top ten list for pedestrian injury and fatality.
Communications: Age-Friendly Sarasota hosts a website and produces a monthly newsletter and maintains an active Facebook and Twitter presence as well. Age-Friendly Sarasota promotes local age-friendly assets and shares information on age-friendly innovation across the globe via both social media and traditional media outlets including newspaper, television and radio.
Capacity building to implement age-friendly environments
Study tour Age Friendly Ireland, 21-23 February 2018
To help to build up capacity to implement age-friendly environments in Europe, Willeke van Staalduinen (NL) and Javier Ganzarain (ES) founded AFEdemy, Academy on age-friendly environments ltd. in May last year. Both have a long time experience with age-friendly environments and assisted active living.
We offer study tours, training programmes, coaching and are involved in funding proposals. Themes are: the costs and benefits (impacts) involved, the integrative approach, the efficient and effective working of (ICT) solutions, shareable space and inclusive design, change management, and the involvement of older people, colleagues and politicians with the development of age-friendly environments. Further, we aim to gather guidelines and standards and to develop fit for purpose solutions at local and/or regional level.
AFEdemy's first activity is the study tour to Age Friendly Ireland on February 21-23, 2018. Here we will visit examples of age-friendly housing, businesses and primary care and meet the people responsible for the Age Friendly Ireland programme. The programme has been developed in close cooperation with Age Friendly Ireland and they offer their support to the participants of the tour in many ways.
Click here for more information
We are looking forward to meeting you in our activities and to cooperate!
Chatham-Kent is now in the implementation and evaluation stage of the initiative. We are working hard to make the recommendations of the action plan come to fruition, as well as evaluating the need to revise the action plan to keep it in line with our community's ever changing needs.
Our Age-Friendly Committee recently submitted a proposal for the Seniors Community Grant Program in hopes to secure enough funds to live out a project we call "Creating Communities for Everyone". Our project is designed to accomplish three things. The first will be to host an Age-Friendly symposium that will bring together people from all sectors of the community including private business, government, not-for-profit, health providers, citizens, retiree groups and other community leaders. It is through a combination of education, collaboration, and action oriented planning that solutions can be found to enhance the way in which Chatham-Kent addresses the aging process by being inclusive, accessible, and respectful of people of all ages and abilities. Our second goal will be to revise our Age Friendly Community Action Plan.
Since our action plan is a living document that came out in 2015 it is time for its second edition that will be launched at our symposium. Stakeholders will walk away with a better appreciation for their role in making Chatham-Kent Age-Friendly and have ownership over the recommendations of this new edition by being engaged with the launch.
Our third goal is to undertake a strong branding strategy. This is a gap we needed need to address in order for seniors to have easy access to information relating to resources available to them throughout Chatham-Kent. The branding strategy will help Age-Friendly become a household name. This will encourage the seniors of Chatham-Kent to lead healthy, active, independent and engaged lives while continuing to learn, contribute and be safe. The branding will also reach younger generations which will promote intergenerational relationships that will further enable the vision to make Ontario the best place to grow up and grow old. Stakeholders of Chatham-Kent will be constantly reminded of how important it is to foster initiatives that promote Age-Friendly community development.
Age-friendly approaches - the missing link.
Written by Guy Robertson, Director, Positive Ageing Associates
The age friendly communities movement has come a long way since its 2007 inception by the World Health Organisation (WHO). However there is a significant gap - a missing link. The WHO age friendly framework focuses on the external conditions and policy processes at the exclusion of attention to the inner lived experience of people in later life. The WHO's original guide
(World Health Organisation, 2007)
advocates a focus on changing "structures and services" in order to meet the needs of older people.
Whilst this is necessary, one has to question whether it is sufficient. Do we not need a more holistic approach which, as well as being driven by a sociological analysis, is also attentive to the psychological realities and characteristics of older people's lives? Is it not time for the age friendly movement to begin to develop a more balanced 'psychosocial approach'? How would it do this? There are three elements which could feature in the start of this journey.
Firstly, in order to boost older people's inner satisfaction and quality of life, age friendly approaches could promote the simple, but well evidenced, framework - the Five Ways to Wellbeing
(Aked et al., 2008)
. This contains five simple exhortations:
- Connect with other people,
- Learn new things,
- Be physically Active,
- Notice the world around you,
- and Give to others
Whilst not specifically developed for older people, these actions are extremely relevant to the circumstances that people face in later life. A major messaging campaign to make this wellbeing framework as well known as the '5 a day' dietary framework could bring about a significant re-focusing of attention on the psychological and emotional aspects of ageing.
Euskadi Lagunkoia (Age-Friendly Basque Country)
The Department of Employment and Social Policies from the Basque Country and Matia Institute are implementing the initiative "Euskadi Lagunkoia" from 2012. It is based on the "Age friendly cities and communities" program, promoted by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This initiative enables older people to live in "age-friendly" villages and cities, by removing physical obstacles and barriers as well as by tapping their potential as protagonists and leaders of the project. So far, 40 municipalities in this region joined Euskadi Lagunkoia to improve the quality of life of their citizens.
- Tapping the potential of seniors in villages and cities as welfare generators.
- Promoting community participation processes.
- Creating a Network of friendly initiatives.
- Facilitating changes in the environments.
First, a Practical guide was developed in order to implement it in municipalities. This guide includes tools and best practices to build a friendly environment. Baseline assessment was made in 15 towns, including secondary data sources, an Age-Friendly Survey (1,447 people 16+), Citizen Forums (+345 participants) and involving other 77 stakeholders. It provides guidance on how to develop an age-friendly project.
second phase (2015-2017), 25 new municipalities and three main cities joined the project (50 in total). Older people's associations have created self-managed groups for qualitative assessment.
- Age-friendly Business: The initiative provides educational and self-assessment materials to participating businesses to make the environment and services more friendly with older people. This information also includes how businesses can provide quality services for older adults affected by loss of mobility, vision and hearing impairments and dementia. EN: https://goo.gl/jyzizA
- Legacy: The main aim of this project is to change the image of older people and to overcome negative stereotypes related with age by transmitting the experience, knowledge and the intangible cultural heritage of Basque older people to younger generations. 12 (9 online) documentary videos (5'). SUBS in EN: https://vimeo.com/94079856
Solutions to Poverty Waterloo Region
This initiative came together in response to the 2016 Poverty Symposium, a community event in Waterloo Region to raise poverty awareness. A group of concerned citizens from the symposium wanted to build on the innovative thinking inspired at that event, and to find ways of putting their ideas into action. This group became known as Solutions to Poverty Waterloo Region.
Solutions to Poverty is motived by a belief that no one should live in poverty, and we have identified older adults in our community as particularly vulnerable to this issue. In 2017, we began to pursue a collective impact approach to address the growing and complex issue of poverty among older adults. Our goal is to help make Waterloo Region an age-friendly community for older adults of all socio-economic backgrounds.
Poverty is a long-standing issue, and addressing it requires new and impactful approaches. It is from this desire for change and a motivation to address poverty through an age-friendly lens that Solutions to Poverty has assembled over 20 members. This is a diverse group, including individuals with lived experience and representatives from such sectors as local government; employment support; literacy development; fair-wage advocacy; legal services; emergency shelter services; housing support; food banks; and community healthcare. By working together across the region, and across sectors, we aim to make real change to the conditions that cause and perpetuate poverty among older adults in Waterloo Region.
Age-Friendly Montgomery County, Maryland
With enthusiastic leadership of our County Executive, County Council, and Commission on Aging, Montgomery County, Maryland enrolled in the Age-Friendly Community program in December 2015 and created our
Three-Year Action Plan
. Since then, our leadership has worked with advisors and community partners from nonprofit, business, faith, education, and health in ten domains to expand and enhance our long record of support for our older residents. The County also enrolled in
Dementia Friendly America
, which supports people with dementia and their caregivers. Together, the two programs ensure integration of work in shared areas of interest.
An overarching goal is improving and expanding communication with residents about programs and services via print,
, and outdoor advertisements. To serve our diverse community, much is translated into other languages, including Spanish and Chinese.
Some early successes include: expanding awareness about elder abuse and successfully prosecuting abusers; increasing civic involvement through new volunteer programs and technology training; promoting benefits of older workers and combatting ageism through outreach and education; expanding affordable housing; increasing free and low-cost transportation options for seniors; disseminating information about community-based services with a current focus on caregiving; expanding senior center hours and programs; increasing education efforts on fall prevention, medication management, and fire prevention; and training emergency staff to appropriately respond to people with dementia- and medication-related emergencies. Domains regularly report on progress and accomplishments.
3Bridges Community - Reframing Ageing
3Bridges Community was formed in 2014 bringing together 3 community organisations each with up to 40 years of community service. We aim to enrich lives, make connections and support people during life transitions by providing a broad range of services from birth to death. Our strategy is to re frame ageing, re imagine volunteering, by focusing on greater inclusivity, and to rethink approaches to brain and mental health through neuroplasticity and creative programs. Our reframing ageing strategy includes establishing a RAGE group (Reframing Ageing Group Enablers) to inform, guide and support us in our work towards Combating Ageism, Promoting Healthy Ageing, Creating Age Friendly Community and Addressing Inequality.
3Bridges gained Federal Government Innovation funding to initiate a new evidenced based Meeting Centre Support Program (MCSP) for the first time in Australia. The MCSP is a model of support for people with dementia that provides an integrated, community driven and person-centred support to the person with the condition and their family carers.
The University of Sydney will lead the evaluation of the project and we are
working in collaboration with the founder from the
At 3Bridges we connect with business, community and government to tackle "wicked problems" through the 3Point Connect Series. In September 2017 the 3Point Connect titled, "A 100 Year Life, a blessing or a curse?" brought together 60 people from business and community to discuss the challenges of ageism, community contribution and purpose, health, wellness and sexuality. The 3Bridges Reframing Aging strategy was informed by these conversations, the UN Global Compact and a range of research from WHO including the 2015 guide to measuring the age friendliness of cities. At the IFA 2018 conference we will discuss how we have developed the Reframing Aging Strategy with the RAGE guidance to work towards a more age friendly community.
City of Ottawa Older Adult Plan
According to the 2016 census, there are 144,140 seniors (65+) living in Ottawa, making up over 15% of the population. It is expected that the number of seniors living in Ottawa will more than double between 2011 and 2031, when seniors will make up 22 per cent of the City population.
Like many large municipalities in Canada, the City of Ottawa is responding to these demographic changes and taking steps to make Ottawa a more age-friendly city.
Following Mayor Jim Watson's Seniors Summit in 2011, the City adopted two Older Adult Plans (OAP) built around the eight Age-Friendly Strategic Areas promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The OAP 2015-2018 contains 51 actions. Some of the concrete actions realised through the OAP include:
- Installed accessibility features, such as automatic door openers, in existing City facilities highly frequented by older adults
- Installed additional benches on existing sidewalks and pathways
- Reviewed and adjusted crossing times at large and busy intersections and installed additional pedestrian signal technology
- Provided free dental care to older adults living on low income
- Created the City of Ottawa Guide to Services and Program for Older Adults in 4 languages
- And so much more
In 2018, the City continues its commitment to make Ottawa more age-friendly,, and will begin planning for the next Older Adult Plan. The new OAP will continue to guide the City of Ottawa towards its vision of becoming an age-friendly and caring community that values the contributions of older adults, offers a broad range of opportunities for active living, and provides supports that are responsive to the diverse needs and choices of older adults.
For more information on the City of Ottawa Older Adult plan, contact Cinthia Pagé, Specialist Strategic Programs and Projects at
or at 613-580-2424 ext. 31340.
|Age-friendly Environments at the
IFA 14th Global Conference
- If you have submitted an abstract but have not yet heard back, please contact IFA Conference and Events Manager Ms Tarah McMaster at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Presenters who have accepted abstracts, fee payment is due by April 6, 2018. Please note: Accepted abstracts will not be scheduled into the program until registration fees have been paid.
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