Creating Aging-Friendly Communities

Week two presenters discuss the latest strategies to help us make our communities more aging-friendly.


To view, please click on the presentation title.

Keynote Presentations:

What is Our Vision for the Future of Aging-Friendly Communities?

Jennie Chin Hansen
President-Elect, AARP

Ms. Jennie Chin Hansen presents a vision for Americaís communities as they respond to the aging of their citizens.

Strengths-Based Approaches to Community Planning

John Kretzmann, Ph.D.
Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, Northwestern University

Dr. John Kretzmann shares in simple, neighborhood-friendly terms what local communities can do to start their own journey down the path of asset-based development as they work to become more aging-friendly. He outlines methods for recognizing, mapping, and mobilizing clusters of local strengths.


Aging in Community Takes a Village
Janice Blanchard

Most Americans would prefer to age in place – to continue to live in their own home into old age with supportive services (if necessary), as an alternative to institutional long-term care. While many elders and family members consider aging in place suitable, others find it a hollow victory, particularly when it occurs in a home that poses physical, financial or emotional challenges and makes connection with family, friends, neighbors and the community difficult, if not impossible. For this and other reasons, an increasing number of people now envision a third way — aging in community.

Participants will learn about the evolution of aging in community from aging in place and why this new model resonates for so many. Innovative leaders and developers will present their perspectives on the opportunities and challenges involved in creating the physical containers for these new communities, as well as the social software – the programs and tools that support a vital, engaged elderhood at home and in the community.


Generations of Hope
Brenda Krause Eheart, Ph.D

Generations of Hope is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation and a licensed foster-adoption agency, formed in 1993 to develop and sustain the intergenerational neighborhood Hope Meadows, and to promote permanency, community, and caring relationships for adoptive families of foster children while offering safety and meaningful purpose in the daily lives of older adults.


ElderSpirit Community
Dene Peterson

ElderSpirit Community (ESC) is essentially a community of mutual support and late-life spirituality that has come to fruition in a mixed-income, co-housing neighborhood in Abingdon Virginia. Another community is being planned in Abingdon. New elder communities are learning from each other and the ElderSpirit Community at Trailview in eleven different places through the emerging ESC Community of Communities.


Beacon Hill Village
Susan McWhinney-Morse

Beacon Hill Village is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of people aged 50 and over in Beacon Hill, Back Bay, Charles River Park and adjacent neighborhoods.

Strategies for Developing Livable Communities for Older Adults

Sandy Markwood
Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)

Ms. Sandy Markwood describes N4Aís innovative role in helping local communities to prepare for the aging of the Baby Boomer population, as presented in N4Aís reports, Blueprint for Action: Developing a Livable Community for All Ages and The Maturing of America: Getting Communities on Track for an Aging Population. She describes detailed strategies, practical tools and proven solutions that cities and counties can use to determine their aging readiness; to ensure that their communities are livable for persons of all ages; and to harness the talent, wisdom and experience of older adults to contribute to the community at large. In addition, Ms. Markwood describes the Aging in Place Initiative with Partners for Livable Communities, which helps Americaís communities prepare for the aging of their population and become places that are good to grow up, live in and grow old.


Community Partnership Approaches for Creating Aging-Friendly Communities

Elise Bolda, Ph.D.
Associate Research Professor, Director, NPO Institute for Health Policy, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine

Dr. Elise Bolda describes the role of community partnerships in promoting aging-friendly communities, based on her work with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Partnerships for Older Adults initiative. She discusses proven strategies for creating, maintaining and sustaining community partnerships, including: collaborative allocation of resources; shared leadership; and community-wide priority setting, strategy development, implementation and evaluation.


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Building Local Capacity to Create More Aging-Friendly Communities

Ginger Harrell
Program Officer Colorado Trust

Ms. Ginger Harrell shares strategies to engage local communities and build capacity to serve the population as it ages. She presents how the Colorado Trust is working to improve information and referral services for seniors, increase access to senior support services, address senior residential needs, strengthen caregiver support services, and promote healthy lifestyles and overall wellness among seniors.

Stakeholder and Community Engagement Strategies to Develop More Aging-Friendly Communities

Lara Birnback
Senior Public Engagement Project Director, Public Agenda

Ms. Lara Birnback shares approaches for engaging specific stakeholders and the general public around key issues to help communities and policy makers make thoughtful and informed decisions. She presents tested strategies and demonstrate that when presented with accurate information and meaningful choices, the public can effectively participate in shaping their own communities.

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Responding to the Needs of Diverse Populations in Aging-Friendly Communities

Fernando Torres-Gil, Ph.D.
Acting Dean, UCLA School of Public Affairs

Dr. Fernando Torres- Gil describes the challenges to Americaís communities as they respond to the increasing aging and diversity of their populations. Dr. Torres-Gil provides potential solutions for creating more aging-friendly communities for diverse populations and outline the benefits to individual and societal well-being. In addition, he identifies specific actions that communities can take to foster more aging-friendly communities for their entire population, including specific examples of successful initiatives.

Developing Community Partnerships to Prepare For the Aging Population and To Become Places That Are Good To Grow Up, Live In and Grow Old.

Robert McNulty
Founder, President, Partners for Livable Communities

Mr. Robert McNulty describes ways communities can set a common vision for the future, discover and use new resources for community and economic development, and build public/private coalitions to further their goals to become more aging-friendly.

Fostering Policy Change to Create More Aging-Friendly Communities.

Paul Zykofsky
Director, Land Use and Transportation Programs, Local Government Commission

Mr. Paul Zykofsky discusses strategies for fostering policy change to create more aging-friendly communities. He presents tools and resources to help communities as they work to become more aging-friendly, including strategies that can enable local governments and community leaders to be more proactive in their land use and transportation planning, and adopt programs and policies that lead to more aging-friendly communities.


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Transformative Community Planning & Conflict Resolution

John Kinyon
Trainer, Center for Nonviolent Communication
Principal, Community Strengths


Kristin Bodiford
Principal, Community Strengths

Mr. John Kinyon and Ms. Kristin Bodiford discuss community planning and conflict resolution strategies using the principles of Nonviolent Communication. They discuss ways to identify and meet the needs of all community members in the community planning process.