Vital Aging Network

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National Models

Provides examples of replicable models for building vital aging communities, with tools to help other communities reproduce them.

The links included in this section are listed below. Additional information about each link can be found lower on the page.

 

Beacon Hill Village

This Boston community offers a neighborhood model where older adults pay a membership to access services to remain independent in the community.

When a group of long-term residents faced the prospect of leaving their neighborhood to move to a retirement community, they decided instead to create Beacon Hill Village. Designed to make remaining at home safe, comfortable, and cost-effective, the community enables persons aged 50 and older who live on Beacon Hill and in its adjacent neighborhoods to stay in their own homes. The community developed partnerships with proven providers of services, and its members receive preferred access to social and cultural activities, exercise programs, help with household and home maintenance, medical care, and assisted living at home. Because it is a nonprofit and requires membership, its programs and services are more cost-effective than those provided through most conventional retirement communities. The model offers a replication manual.

Website
www.beaconhillvillage.org

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Blueprint for an Aging-Friendly Baltimore City

Baltimore's plan to address the issues of an aging population in its urban environment.

The Baltimore City Commission on Aging and Retirement Education (CARE) created the Center for Urban Aging Services and Policy Development to respond to issues affecting the future of Baltimore’s aging population. Baltimore's plan addresses the following issues: the needs and aspirations of an aging, culturally diverse urban population; changes in public funding that affect CARE's and its partners' ability to meet the needs of that population; demographic, social, and economic forces impacting the lives of all older, urban Americans; and its Mayor’s vision to make Baltimore the most aging-friendly city in America.

Blueprint
Blueprint for an Aging-Friendly Baltimore City (pdf)

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Florida Communites for a Lifetime Initiative

A statewide initiative to assist Florida cities, towns and counties in planning and implementing improvements benefiting the lives of all residents, youthful or senior.

Communities that participate in this statewide initiative use existing resources and receive technical assistance from the State of Florida to make crucial civic improvements in such areas as housing, health care, transportation, accessibility, business partnerships, community education, efficient use of natural resources, and creation of opportunities for volunteers to better their communities.

Blueprint
Blueprint2007web.pdf


Elderberry Institute

This program offers a model for Living at Home and Block Nurse Programs that are neighborhood-based organizations run by members of the community to support older adults' independence.

The Living at Home and Block Nurse Program Model uses volunteers and health professionals from the community to enable older individuals to remain in their own homes. Designed by the Elderberry Institute, the model is the product of over 20 years of work with elders, their caregivers, home-nursing and senior-serving organizations, and supporters in the community. Based on the action of citizens, the model's success supports the conviction that local entities, with volunteers governing them, can serve the needs of local people best. Through a community's ownership with operations limited to a small geographic area, the model produces highly focused efficiencies and flexible, nonbureaucratic effectiveness in helping elders. The website provides a tool for developing community networks to support the independence of older adults that includes steps to replicate the Living at Home and Block Nurse Program model.

Outcomes
Across Minnesota, 42 communities have developed programsAlso supporting a growning number of programs in the upper Midwest and Texas.

Website
www.elderberry.org

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Project Enhance

Evidence-based fitness and wellness programs offered through senior centers, hospitals, assisted living facilitites and other organizations that offer services to older adults.

Project Enhance offers two programs: EnhanceFitness and EnhanceWellness. They offer a turnkey package to organization that want to use the program that includes a license to use the material, training, instructor's guide, and other materials. The programs offer measurable, scientifically researched results in improving the health of older adults. Senior Services in Seattle, Washington manages the program in collaboration with Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington's Health Promotion Research Center.

Outcomes
Offered at over 200 sites around the country in 15 states. Over 4,000 adults have participated in the EnhanceFitness program. An independent study demonstrated that participants realized:

  • 13% improvement in social function
  • 52% improvement in depression
  • 35% improvement in physical functioning

Website
www.projectenhance.org

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