Posted by Kathy Burnes
Imagine you are 82 years old, alone in the apartment where you have lived for 42 years, raised your family, and felt connected to the community. You wonder how much longer you can stay; the neighborhood has changed over the years and old friends and family members have moved away. But this is still your home. What would you do?
JF&CS has been addressing this question for the past seven years. Through innovative Aging Well at Home projects, JF&CS fosters resident and community involvement in activities and services that focus on increasing physical and mental activity, social connection, and neighbor-to-neighbor mutual support in addition to sharing knowledge about existing resources.
I have had the pleasure of working with residents and community leaders in Brookline on a project addressing older adults' desire to remain living in their community for as long as possible. The success of the project served as a catalyst for a town-wide aging in community model: Brookline Community Aging Network or BrooklineCAN.
Now, JF&CS is excited to share a new report on BrooklineCAN, Promoting Aging-Friendly Communities in Massachusetts: Experiences of a Neighborhood Model in Brookline.
This report is a must read for those who want to know more about what is happening to engage and care for older adults in the community. As the number of older adults grows significantly over the next decades, there is a need for information about the successes and challenges of creating aging-friendly communities.
The Aging Well at Home - North Brookline Project was supported by a generous grant from The Harry and Jeannette Weinberg Foundation.
Kathy Burnes is project manager of the JF&CS Geriatric Institute, which focuses on developing and implementing projects that translate research into community-based services. Prior to coming to JF&CS in 2007, she worked as a senior research associate at Boston College's Center for Corporate Citizenship, and at the National Center on Women and Aging at Brandeis University. Kathy also worked for AARP and Operation ABLE of Greater Boston. She has a BA from the University of Michigan and a MEd from Northeastern University.