Making Martha's Vineyard an Aging-Friendly Island
May- June  2016                                                                                Volume 5                                           

Dear Healthy Aging Readers,

We need you!
Our primary appeal this month is for you to read about and then join Healthy Aging in responding to the needs identified by the over 2300 seniors who filled out the Senior Survey last fall. HA-MV's Oversight Committee has chosen four priority areas for our work during the next 2-3 years.
Please consider joining your talents and time with other volunteers on these important Work Groups. Email us at with your name, contact info, and what you would like to do. We need and will welcome you!
Paddy Moore, Chair Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard
Photo courtesy of the Martha's Vineyard Times.

"Grow old along with me! 
The best is yet to be; 
the last of life for which the first was made."                  Robert Browning 
Work Groups to Support Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard                                                                                              
Thanks again to the 2300 island seniors who responded to the Healthy Aging Survey, conducted last fall with the Heller School at Brandeis University. Based on the results - we had a 49% response rate! -- the HA Oversight Committee identified seven major areas of concern, of which the top four will form the basis for HA priorities over the next 2-3 years.
Healthy Aging's  VISION for the four key areas:

Challenges in Health and Mental Health:
We envision an island community where seniors are engaged in life and feel a sense of well-being. When they need health care, it is accessible, affordable, and person-centered, provided through a network of coordinated home and hospital care and providers who are caring, patient, and well trained in geriatrics and the special needs of seniors.
This Workgroup will:
  •  Develop an accessible home care system;
  •  Expand access to primary care physicians and specialists, including dentists;
  •  Assure that all health care and support services personnel are trained in geriatrics;
  •  Reduce the rate of falls among Island elders.
This group will be led by Robert Laskowski, M.D., a recently retired geriatrician and former CEO of Cristiana Health Care System, and Jay Ferriter, Manager of Primary Care Practices at MV Hospital.

Aging in Community:
We envision an island community where all elders are safe, comfortable and able to age in their own home and community, where there is a range of different housing options and supports as elders become frailer and less independent in their later years.
This Workgroup will: 
  •  Develop program of housing modifications for elders;
  •  Explore and develop housing options for elders and workforce, including looking at Greenhouse models of assisted living and nursing home.
  •  Research and publicize technology to support elders aging in own homes.
This group will be led by Victor Capoccia, consultant to R. W. Johnson Foundation and Soros Foundation, and Peter Temple, Executive Director of the MV Donors Collaborative.

Care-giver Support:
We envision a community in which men and woman caring for others are also supported, and have access to the resources and supports they need, including information about the needs of their care partners and to respite care services to avoid their own burn-out.
This Workgroup ( currently in formation) will: 
  •  Research and publicize existing respite care services currently available on island
  •  Develop linked network of respite care services
  •  Research best practices from around country and identify funding to support. (Include Safe Seniors program.)
We envision a community in which all elders have available, affordable and accessible transportation - whether provided by themselves, family, volunteers, or public services - transport that respects their dignity, provides door-to-door (and arm through arm) services, as appropriate for the needs of frail elders.
This Workgroup ( currently in formation) will: 
  • Research and identify accessible and affordable on-demand services
  • Encourage the development of expanded small-van services by the VTA
  • Work to expand off-island medical transportation to specialists
  • Encourage more volunteer drivers for programs such as the Vineyard Village at Home
  • Support town efforts to simplify an island-wide approach to affordable taxi services.


Please consider offering your talents and your time by joining one of these Workgroups. Email your interest and your contact information to and someone will get back to you within 48 hours.

May was Older Americans month, and this year we have much to celebrate ! 
The Older Americans Act - originally passed under President Lyndon Johnson over 50 years ago - provides the basic funding to the states that millions of older adults count on - meals on wheels, senior centers (our Councils on Aging), services to frail elders, medical transportation, caregiver support, and others.
Legislation to reauthorize the Act was finally passed by Congress with unanimous, bipartisan support, and signed into law by President Obama on April 19th, 2016. Although the funding is modest, this reauthorization does require that health promotion and disease prevention be evidence-based, and also includes stronger elder justice and legal services provisions, caregiver support, and new opportunities for inter-generational shared sites.
For half a century, The OAA, along with Medicare and Medicaid, has signified the commitment of America to support our elders in their right to live independently, with dignity, making everyday decisions according to their individual preferences and goals across our lifespan. It has helped people live the lives they want, aging at home, and assuring that our elders, those who care for them, and all of us who hope we will one day grow old will not be abandoned in our twilight years.
Farm Neck Golf Tournament to Benefit Healthy Aging MV

Farm Neck Golf Club is sponsoring an Early-Bird Tennis Tournament to benefit Healthy Aging -MV on June 24-25-26th. ( First round matches start at noon on Friday the 24rd) There are two ways you can help:

    *  COME PLAY IN THE TOURNAMENT. You can register online, just click here.   If you're a player, come join the tournament, and invite your tennis friends to play with you.  


Entries can be submitted to until midnight on Monday June 20. Start times and draws will be posted on Wednesday night June 22nd.

First Stop News                                                                                                
FirstStop MV is your connection to the most comprehensive, up-to-date catalog of resources available to Island seniors. The calendar is extensive.

This Month's Resource                                                                                                   
Our resource for this month.

What Are Old People For? How Elders Will Save the World draws from popular culture, history, science, and literature to create a strong vision for a future in which old age becomes a healing force in our society. Marked by a positive vision, spiritual hope, and prescriptive advice this award-winning book by Dr. Bill Thomas describes how our obsession with youth damages the well-being of all, young and old alike. It details how we can:
  • Enjoy what aging has to offer us and actually welcome it into our lives;
  • Abolish institutional approaches to care;
  • Develop the capacity for peacemaking and wisdom giving that grows within older people; and
  • Begin building a society where aging and longevity are used to improve life for people of all ages.
What Are Old People For is a first-place winner in the Trade Book Category for the American Medical Writers Association.  It has also been the recipient of the "Consumer Health Book of the Year" award from the American Journal of Nursing.

Island Agency Focusing on Seniors  
Vineyard Village at Home - helping to sustain a precious  
Island resource:  Our Elders

Vineyard Village at Home is an island non-profit organization that seeks to enable our members, who are 55 or older, to stay safely in their homes as they age.  We identify service providers who will take care of the house, lawn or other needs and our volunteers drive our members to appointments and social activities throughout the island.  

Vineyard Village at Home is always looking for new volunteers and members.  To join, volunteer, donate, or obtain additional information, call 508-693-3038, email or go online at
Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard |   508.693.4640
Like us on Facebook