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The U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C., commonly referred to as the ‘Soldiers’ Home,’ is one of the country’s oldest veterans’ retirement homes and certainly one of the most beautiful. Located on a 273-acre campus in Northwest D.C., the Home’s green pastures and tranquil lakes sit in stark contrast to the developed neighborhoods of the surrounding community. Since the home opened in 1851, the retirement community has been home to thousands of retired elderly and disabled veterans in the Washington area.
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Eighty million members of the boomer generation (born between 1946–1964) have reached or are approaching the traditional retirement age of 65. These boomers overwhelmingly want to age in place. Yet few communities are prepared to meet the needs of older residents, or to engage these residents in civic life.
In response, the Center for Civic Partnerships created Aging Well in Communities: A Toolkit for Planning, Engagement & Action.
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Eight partnerships in San Diego County were each awarded a "JumpStart the Conversation" grant on June 26, 2008.
The winning projects exemplify the use of innovative ideas focused on creating livable communities for all ages and the theme of "lifelong learning for older adults." These strategies, especially those aimed at the more than 11 percent of the San Diego County's population who are 65 years old and over, help strengthen "aging in place" services and help to create opportunities for older adults to acquire new knowledge and skills. Click here to view the grants below.
The grants were introduced after a workshop, titled Enhancing Lifelong Learning: Developing a Livable San Diego County for All Ages, which took place in March at the San Diego Health Services Complex. The workshop was one of a series of regional workshops focused on creating livable communities for all ages. The workshops and grants are part of a national Aging in Place Initiative undertaken by Partners for Livable Communities (Partners) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a), with funding provided by MetLife Foundation.
The workshop was hosted by the County of San Diego Aging & Independence Services (AIS) department. Grantees were announced at Aging Summit 2008, held at Town and Country Resort on June 26.One grant recipient, Peninsula Shepherd Senior Center, will use the award to partner with Sharp HealthCare to create an Older Adult Healthy Lifestyle workshop, focusing on the theme of lifelong learning for older adults.The workshop will be presented at local senior centers, churches and libraries.
"With the aging of the baby boomers, it will be important to develop an educational tool for helping people stay healthy," said Jean Durgan, director of Peninsula Shepherd Senior Center. "Through this workshop, we're hoping that older adults can make changes that can possibly extend their life expectancy and help people experience a better quality of life, while remaining in their own local community."
San Diego Jumpstart Grants
- Alzheimer's Association
To expand the Memories in the Making Art Program to provide an art and brain health educational program that will target: 1) older adults who are interested in embracing their creative energies through art; and 2) caregivers seeking creative activities to enjoy with older adults they care for at home via an all-inclusive art kit.
- Bayside Community Center in partnership with San Diego Community College Continuing Education Department, San Diego Futures Foundation, and Temecula Valley Bank's Risk Management Department
To teach Linda Vista's diverse older adult population computer skills and financial basics in various native languages. This program aims to increase confidence in computer technology and independence for older adults in the community, which includes Pan Asian, African American, Chinese, Vietnamese, Latino and Caucasian populations. Instruction will highlight: financial scams targeting the senior population, Microsoft Office, financial literacy, online banking and bill paying. Local college students and professionals in the banking community will be engaged as well.
- Friends of Adults Day Health Care Centers in partnership with St. Paul's Senior Homes & Services
To launch a "JumpStart the Conversation Through a Language Curriculum" that will address the needs of non-native English speaking older adults. Older adults who attend adult day programs, specifically the program "This Day in History," will learn English through a curriculum customized to their language learning ability; become knowledgeable about events in U.S. history; enhance the health of their brains; and diminish their isolation from the majority population.
- Heritage Clinic
To develop a program for clinicians and peer counselors to assist older adult clients in exploring their individual talents through conversation and support groups; and to encourage clients to express their thoughts, ideas and expectations though a diversity of medium: painting, textile and photography and other art forms. This program aims to increase self-esteem and community awareness about older adults and their valuable contributions to the local community, and to decrease mental health symptoms. As part of this program, the clinic proposes to develop a multi-media exhibit of artwork that clients have produced. The clinic will widely promote this art exhibit at a local museum and/or a downtown San Diego venue that is well frequented.
- La Mesa Park and Recreation Foundation in partnership with the City of La Mesa and RhythmWorx
To implement "Rhythm for the Ages," a weekly exercise and educational program utilizing a variety of percussion instruments to create rhythm and movement in educational, recreational, and entertainment venues for any age. The program is designed to reinforce the benefits of a healthy active lifestyle and engage older adult participants in an enjoyable activity that stimulates cognitive processes and encourages social interaction. As a highly visible project, "Rhythm for the Ages" will also introduce area older adults to the existing variety of instructional, recreational, and volunteer opportunities available in their community.
- Peninsula Shepherd Senior Center in partnership with Sharp HealthCare
To create an Older Adult Healthy Lifestyle Workshop, focusing on the theme of Lifelong Learning for older adults. Coordinating with Sharp HealthCare, this workshop will be presented as a one-day conference or as a five-part series, each part a stand alone class. This workshop will be presented multiple times at local senior centers, churches and libraries.
- San Diego State University Research Foundation
To develop and pilot a university-based intercultural, intergenerational learning experience for older adults, called the Intercultural Conversation Partners Project (ICPP). This project will bring together a cohort of older adults and international students from the American Language Institute at SDSU for a semester of lunch programs that foster language acquisition; cultural exchange; and intergenerational learning.
- The Arc of San Diego
To pay for members of the Senior Program of The Arc of San Diego - Starlight Center to enroll in community art classes. This would enable these senior individuals to: develop creative art skills in a variety of media; connect with community art resources, studios, individuals and galleries; and place finished art works in these venues, at juried art shows and at retail sites
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In 1923, when the Lafayette Building was constructed in downtown Detroit, the city was one of the cultural centers of the United States and home to an exploding automotive industry. Famous American architect C. Howard Crane designed the cutting edge, Italian Renaissance-style building in a unique ‘V’ shape to maximize the amount of natural light allowed in. Today, however, Detroit has fallen on harder economic times, and the once striking skyscraper at 144 West Lafayette was torn down in 2010 after being vacant for more than a decade.
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When kids from Commerce, a small working-class city outside of Los Angeles, are asked who their heroes are, they will, more often than not, mention local residents Brenda Villa and Patty Cardenas. Villa and Cardenas were both key members of the Women’s Olympic Water Polo Team from the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and they are both products of the Commerce Water Polo Club.
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The Arlington Energy Masters program is a joint venture between three Washington, DC area nonprofit groups - Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), Arlington Thrive, and the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) – which aims to increase energy efficiency in Arlington’s low-income residences. Volunteers from the DC suburb are put through a 20 hour training course on what impacts a home’s water and energy usage and strategies to make homes more efficient. Once the training is completed, volunteers spend at least 60 hours in the community applying their knowledge to help lower energy and water usage in low-income apartments from throughout the county.
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This brochure highlights the prevalent issues of today affecting all of our communities and provides concrete examples of the myriad types of institutions that have become “Fulcrums of Change”
for the betterment of the people and neighborhoods where they are located.
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photo credit Project SHINE
“When I first came to America, I only knew a couple letters. I couldn't communicate with anybody. And I learned about this program and I started (to learn English). I have been here for three years and now I have built a basic vocabulary that I can carry my daily life. It basically helped me to live in America." -Project SHINE participant
In the early 1980s, Nancy Henkin, founder and director of the Intergenerational Center at Temple University, was shocked by the news that loneliness and social isolation led an elderly Asian woman to commit suicide, at a time when it was commonly assumed that older immigrants were part of tight-knit and supportive communities. Henkin realized that older immigrants often struggle with language barriers, changes in customs, and differences in social roles more than their younger counterparts, and began working to establish a program that could support them. Project SHINE was launched in 1985, to reach out and provide aging immigrants with language and cultural resources to help them adapt in their new community.
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photo credit Oak HammockAs the baby boomers reach retirement age, institutions across the United States will have to find creative solutions to accommodate their burgeoning numbers. Despite this growing need, a retirement community on a college campus might not seem to be a great idea. It’s not difficult to imagine late-night police calls from seniors who think midnight is entirely too late to be playing loud music, or are appalled by the undergraduates who trample the beloved garden of a 90-year old during their late night escapades. But Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, Inc. has created just such an unlikely pairing, a relationship in which university administration, students, senior residents, and other stakeholders have found a lot to like.
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photo credit Culture Bus
Culture Bus is at once a transportation service to arts and cultural events for older adults, and a unique treatment program for early-stage dementia patients. One of many adult day programs offered by CJE SeniorLife, in Chicago, Illinois, Culture Bus provides opportunities for socialization, creative expression, and intellectual stimulation designed to improve the quality of life and slow the effects of degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease for many older adults.
The Culture Bus emerged, in 2002, from an Alzheimer’s support group sponsored by Northwestern University’s Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center. Its participants were seeking more time together and opportunities for intellectual and social engagement. One member of the group suggested using a bus to enable everyone to go downtown together. The Northwestern staff immediately saw the value in this idea, and reached out to CJE, a local leader in adult-day programming, to discuss a partnership.