Vital Aging Network

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Comprehensive Tools

These websites, handbooks, and guides offer a wide range of tools specifically geared to building strong communities.

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

 

Aging in Place: A Toolkit for Local Governments

Helps local governments plan  and prepare for their aging populations. The Atlanta Regional Commission designed the tool.

Aging in Place is a concept that supports older persons' continued participation in intergenerational communities, their ability to be as independent as their health allows, and their access to educational, cultural, and recreational activities. For this website, Partners for Livable Communities collaborated with NeighborWorks to make resources about Aging in Place available. The site includes articles, reports and studies about Aging in Place and provides links to other relevant websites.

Website
www.nw.org/Network/comstrat/agingInPlace/default.asp

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Asset-based Community Development Institute

Provides publications and workbooks to aid communities in discovering, developing, and mobilizing resources already in the community.

Part of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, the Asset-based Community Development Institute (ABCD) focuses on the assets in a community that support efforts at revitalization rather than on the community's deficiencies. These assets include the skills that residents posses, the power that local associations can wield, the resources that public, private and nonprofit organizations can offer, and the physical and economic capacities of the local community.

Website
www.sesp.northwestern.edu/abcd

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Center for Civic Partnerships

Provides tips, tools and resources that support learning, leadership development, and networking.

This website provides discussions of various topics including tips for success and links to other resources. It divides topics into a number of categories: community building and collaboration, community development and planning, education, health and related topics, welfare to work, organizational development, and organizational learning and evaluation.

Website
www.civicpartnerships.org/toolsRes.htm

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The Community Toolbox

Provides over 7,000 well-organized pages of information on all aspects of community planning.

The Community Tool Box (CTB) helps thoughtful, informed citizens make their communities what they dream they can be. The CTB provides over 7,000 pages of information to support work in promoting a community's health and development. It offers help in developing specific practical skills, such as conducting a meeting or evaluating participation; provides solutions to common issues; identifies best practices for numerous tasks; and allows users to ask questions of experts about community practices. 

Website
ctb.ku.edu

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Forming a Community Based Network

Provides information on developing a community support organization for older adults.

Public health and social service agencies, Area Agencies on Aging, and others recognize the value of caring communities and the potential for neighbors and other volunteers in a community  to augment the services that agencies provide. This handbook created by the Elderberry Institute helps agencies and other interested individuals evaluate their community's commitment to keeping aging members in their own homes as well as helps a community identify resources to organize a community-based network for that purpose.

Website
www.elderberry.org

Handbook
FormingACommunityBasedNetwork.pdf

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Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide

Offers the means to evaluate a community's capacity to meet the needs of older adults. The AARP developed this guide.

The AARP's Livable Communities: An Evaluation Guide can help interested community members assess the capacity of their communities to meet the needs of older adults. The guide examines the elements of a livable community. It offers steps for carrying out a survey for a particular community and identifies actions that groups can take based on results. It also includes success stories and offers follow-up contact information and references, including references for useful Internet sites.

Website
assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/il/d18311_communities.pdf

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The Stanford d.School Bootcamp Bootleg

This toolkit from the Stanford Design School will help you get started with design thinking and design doing.

Website
dschool.stanford.edu/use-our-methods/

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Viable Futures Toolkit

Provides modules designed specifically for community planning and aging.

The Viable Futures Toolkit offers practical tools for creating solutions to a community's issues that simultaneously address the needs of all members of the community, including aging residents and children. The toolkit views all members of the community as resources, and its target audience is administrators, advocates, or practitioners in aging, children and youth, and the environment as well as planners, policymakers, service providers, and funders. It helps organizations identify strengths and capacity-building needs and provides worksheets that help in planning efforts.

Website
www.viablefuturestoolkit.org

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