Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Acushnet United States of America
The Town of Acushnet already offers residents a very active and engaging Senior Community Center (COA). Open Monday – Friday, the COA averages about 350 participants per week for at least one program. Volunteer opportunities for residents are already available in multiple town departments including the Finance Committee, Historical Commission, Beautification Committee and more. Staying engaged is especially important to seniors who wish to remain living independently. Social networking sites such as the town of Acushnet’s website or Facebook allows these individuals to get out into the community even if they can’t – or don’t want to – physically. Many town departments are currently hosting Facebook pages in order to keep residents informed and engaged. The Town of Acushnet will also encourage older adults to participate in the survey and committee process including submitting their opinions and suggestions for improving accessibility of public areas, support for health and wellness in the community, and increasing social engagement opportunities. By empowering volunteers, they will grow and thrive. Through a partnership with Coastline Elderly Services, 60 home delivered meals are also brought to homebound residents on a daily basis. After being accepted into the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities, a committee will be appointed by the town select board to plan an age-friendly initiative, to work on a livable community project and to advise town officials about aging in Acushnet. This ad-hoc committee will be designated for a specific time and/or to implement the age-friendly initiative that will encompass the eight domains of livability. This will be an advisory group whose purpose is to advise the town more broadly about aging-related issues including recommendations on policy and infrastructure changes. As a citizen-initiated committee they will not have formal ties with local government but members will benefit from attempting to foster a good relationship with elected officials and municipal staff. The committee will be provided with the results of the Community Needs Assessment survey, which was completed in June 2018, as a way to help begin to identify factors and areas where evidence-based, cost-effective practices can be implemented to help the aging in place concept both for those with and without dementia.