AAI Program Director Linda Jackson shares highlights from Aging Action Initiative’s three-year strategic plan Moving Forward Together.
The AAI strategic plan was a major collaborative effort. At AAI’s Convening in Spring 2017, people did the initial work to define the values we hold dearest in our collective work. They also wrote out initial vision ideas of the network in 2020, and brainstormed actions of how the network can be successful. The planning dialogue continued with key community leaders in retreat late Spring, and again at the July 6th meeting of the Marin Commission on Aging. The AAI Steering Committee approved the final plan in October. The Steering Committee consists of representatives from:
- Green and Healthy Homes Initiative
- Jewish Family and Children’s Services
- Marin Center for Independent Living
- Marin County Aging & Adult Services
- Marin County Commission on Aging
- Marin County Health and Human Services
- Marin County Women’s Commission
- Marin Interfaith Council
- Marin Transit
- Senior Access
- West Marin Senior Services
To see a complete list of network participants click here.
The AAI Strategic Plan is built on the foundation of five values:
The AAI Strategic Plan contains two key strategies for 2018:
Coordinate and co-sponsor events, programs, and workshops with partner organizations.
A new project for AAI in 2018 will be “2018 Year of the Older Adult”. In January, the Marin Board of Supervisors will kick off a year-long program to promote Marin as a great place to grow older, celebrate the social, cultural and economic contributions of Marin’s older adults, raise community awareness of ageism affecting opportunities for older people, showcase collaborations, and identify new strategies, programs, and resources to support and address the needs of Marin’s older population. We’re looking forward to a year of programs highlighting the best of Marin, and advocating for changes so all in Marin, as the County says, “live long and live well”.
Lead the Countywide age-friendly planning and implementation efforts.
What is an age-friendly world? “Age-friendly” is a term used by the World Health Organization to describe its goals for communities facing demographic changes.
“It is a place that enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities. It is a place that treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy to stay connected to those around you and those you love. It is a place that helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages. And it is a place that helps those who can no longer look after themselves to live with dignity and enjoyment.”
This international initiative helps cities and communities taking steps to address physical and social barriers that persist around the world. In the United States, AARP operates the age-friendly movement under the auspices of the World Health Organization.
The age-friendly movement has arrived in Marin, full speed. In 2018, the County of Marin will begin work on an age-friendly plan for the unincorporated communities and neighborhoods in the County. At the same time, jurisdictions that do not yet have an age-friendly plan will be encouraged to complete their own plans. The early adopters, Sausalito, Corte Madera and Fairfax, are models of what can be achieved through this community-building effort.
In 2018, the Aging Action Initiative will also work on expanding organizational capacity, to better serve as a resource hub and identify service gaps.
We’ll be highlighting four issue areas in our advocacy:
- Housing (a place to live)
- Aging-in-Community (at-home resources, social isolation and mental health)
- Economic security
The fires in the North Bay have made our own housing crisis all the more urgent. Older renters are losing their long-time homes, the number of seniors who are homeless (“I’ll just live in my car.”) is increasing not just in Marin but around the Bay Area, and caregivers increasingly find the cost of living in Marin unsustainable.
People want to stay at home, but isolation can be an enormous problem when it’s no longer possible to drive. People on Social Security are worried about potential cutbacks, and older people continue to face ageist discrimination.
What is AAI’s vision of the future?
The Aging Action Initiative is an effective organizing network that promotes a healthy, safe and engaging quality of life for all older adults to thrive in Marin County. Comprised of members from the non-profit, government and healthcare sectors, we are proud to represent the diversity of Marin’s older adults. AAI is spearheading an age-friendly Marin through education, policy advocacy, and service coordination, focusing on aging equity issues in Marin County.
Aging Action Initiative (AAI) is a collective effort of more than 65 different agencies, grassroots organizations, commission and neighborhood groups, funded by the County of Marin and coordinated by MARINSPACE, collaborating for an age-friendly environment. For more information visit agingactioninitiative.org or connect with us on Facebook.