Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Guilford County, NC United States of America
Senior Resources of Guilford is the largest non-profit provider of community-based services in Guilford County. The agency is funded by the two United Ways in the County and the Area Agency on Aging, as well as a number of local foundations, faith communities and individual donors. Additionally, the agency has a contract for services through the Local Mental Health Entity, the Office of Refugee Resettlement and the Corporation of National Service, which funds the Foster Grandparent Program. Fifteen years ago the agency started the Guilford County Senior Services Roundtable which is a group of non-profit organizations, for-profit entities, and interested citizens whose mission is to develop increased communication among agencies in regard to senior services, develop systems that make referring clients easier, and advocate among elected officials to increase and improve services to older adults in Guilford County. The Roundtable has developed the ‘Protocols and Pathways’ project which can be found on multiple agency websites, has hosted numerous legislative educational events, and has planned and implemented ‘Annual Aging Summits’ with funding from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. The most recent Aging Summit keynote speaker was Michael Watson who educated the community on AARP’s Livable and Age-Friendly Communities Project. Throughout the history of the Roundtable, focus has been on developing an Age-Friendly Community and the group has looked at projects in other communities such as Portland, Oregon and Orange County, North Carolina. Members of the Roundtable include representatives of county funded agencies, agencies providing adult day care and Hospice. The group recognizes the need to focus on livability for all our citizens and has a desire to participate in the AARP Aging-Friendly Network. A full range of services exists in Guilford County that allow individuals and their caregivers to receive services as needed and as they move along a continuum of care. Senior Resources of Guilford’s mission is to provide services that promote and support independent living as long as safely possible. Guilford County is unique in the state with two of the seven largest cities in the state contained in the County as well as a number of small townships. Senior Resources of Guilford has a presence in both cities with offices established in Greensboro and High Point. Monthly activities at eight rural outreach sites throughout the county provide services to the residents who frequently face barriers in reaching services in the main cities. Over the last two years, each of the major cities have made significant strides in specific areas that coincide in matching one of the eight domains which have created our desire to partner with them to move their work forward in a manner that promotes livable communities. The Greensboro Housing Coalition Task Force, which encourages safer affordable housing, recently developed a housing plan that is being presented to the Greensboro City Council. Senior Resources of Guilford’s Executive Director has served on this task force. In High Point, the focus has been on increasing food security since this community was ranked 9th in the area of food insecurity with the development of the High Point Food Alliance. Working with the Executive Team, Senior Resources of Guilford’s agency director has chaired the Senior Task Force and is working on the implementation of a grant from the Community Foundation of High Point to create best practices for food pantries while increasing seniors’ access to these pantries as well as increasing awareness of SNAP benefits. Therefore, we desire to initially focus on these two domains through groups that are already making progress in the community in an effort to insure that in their planning process the lessons learned through the World Health Organization’s research will be included in their implementation. Over the last two years the Roundtable has educated our elected officials and community at large on the importance of Age-Friendly efforts and promoted that what is good for an older adult on an assistive walking device is also good for the parent who is jogging with a stroller. We believe participation in the AARP Age-Friendly Network will provide us valuable information to move our local efforts forward.