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Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, Inc.

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oakhammock_photocredit_oakhammockphoto 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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Miami Jumpstart Grantees

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Eight organizations and partnerships in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties were each awarded a "JumpStart the Conversation" grant on February 2, 2009.

The winning projects exemplify the use of innovative ideas focused on creating livable communities for all ages and theme of "transportation and mobility options".  These strategies are aimed at the over 11 percent of residents age 65 and over in the two counties, and will encourage services that strengthen "aging in place" and increases accessibility to transportation and fosters independence among older adults.

The Grantees followed the Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties workshop on November 17, 2008; titled Increasing Transportation and Mobility Options: Creating Livable Miami-Dade & Monroe Counties for All Ages

Greater Miami Region Jumpstart Grants 

  • The North County Citizens Association 
    To discuss a pickup service, with the purpose of allowing older citizens unable to drive or access transportation to conduct necessary tasks such as doctor’s appointments and trips to the grocery store.  The NCCA is a voluntary organization dedicated to improving the community.  Many of its members are senior citizens, and this program would be an avenue for the community to give back to them.
  • Miami Lakes Town Foundation in partnership with The Alliance for Aging, Inc. 
    To hold a series of community meetings to evaluate the transportation needs of older adults in the Miami Lakes area.  The forums will be held once a month over a four month period and will encourage dialogue surrounding the issues of town public transportation, Miami-Dade county Public Transportation, as well as existing and planned trail systems.  The goal is to develop a strategy that will best coordinate accessibility to existing and planned programs, services and facilities to the aging population.
  • The City of Coral Gables in partnership with The Alliance for Aging, Inc.  
    To implement a pilot program of subsidized taxicab fares for people ages 65 and over.  Seniors would be able to purchase coupons at Coral Gables City Hall and the Coral Gables Youth Center.  These facilities are both accessible and well known to residents of the city.  It is the hope that this program will demonstrate an efficient way for seniors to use existing transportation systems while still having the flexibility and independence associated with driving one’s own vehicle
  • The Miami Behavioral Health Center (MBHC) 
    To promote a “Mobility Maps” program to seniors in the Miami-Dade area.  “Mobility Maps” will alert seniors to different transportation options based on their own specific transportation needs.  Each individual mobility map will provide descriptions of possible destinations as well as different methods of getting to each locale.  In addition to providing group sessions to create these maps, which can also serve to create social networks and improve psychosocial functioning, the MBHC will provide training to aging agencies and health service providers to maximize the number of seniors benefitting from this program.
  • The William Lehman Injury Research Center
    To improve a multi-faceted safe crossings program in response to Miami being ranked the third highest county in regards to pedestrian injuries.  The research center plans on using education, promotional and cultural materials to address the issue specifically in regards to the over 65 population.  Current materials will also be translated in Spanish and Creole in order to increase the scope of the project across language barriers.
  • The County of Monroe in partnership with The Alliance for Aging, Inc.  
    To investigate a solution to inefficient transportation (especially for older adults and pedestrians) between Monroe County and the Florida Keys.  Three planning sessions will be held to brainstorm ideas, including ways to make transportation more “green” and cost effective.
  • The Miami Lighthouse for the Blind in partnership with The Alliance for Aging, Inc.  
    To explore and implement a community based independent transportation network (ITN) in Miami-Dade County.  Using a combination of both paid and volunteer drivers, the ITN will be available 24-hours a day to transport seniors to local destinations.  After a series of meetings, a pilot community will be chosen to serve as an example of increase senior mobility that can be implemented citywide.
  • The Alliance for Aging, Inc. 
    To engage local and national experts on issues of senior transportation access in Miami-Dade, and to incorporate these issues into the county’s master transportation plan.  Three meetings will be hosted over a 6-month period and will focus on pedestrian needs and planning, and roadway improvement.  The meetings will serve as a follow-up to the Aging in Place workshop in November, with the goal of engaging traffic engineers and key stakeholders in issues related to aging and the public infrastructure, highlighting best practices in community transportation, and encouraging dialogue that will lead to positive changes.
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City Leaders Institute on Aging in Place

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City Leaders Institute

City Leaders Institute on Aging in Place Logo

America is aging. Today roughly 37 million Americans age 65 and older represent slightly more than 12 percent of the country’s total population. By the year 2030 the number of Americans in this age group will nearly double, accounting for one-fifth of the population—almost all of these people will grow old in their own homes. Communities will face unprecedented challenges to providing the services and infrastructure that this population will demand. Yet, if communities are resourceful, innovative and prudent, these challenges will be eclipsed by the enormous share of social, political and human capital that will be made available by embracing the older adult population.

The MetLife Foundation has funded Partners for Livable Communities to implement the MetLife City Leaders Institute on Aging in Place. This timely initiative is inspired by the successful Mayors' Institute on City Design that has helped prepare more than 800 mayors to understand and put into practice the components of urban design over the past two decades. The City Leaders Institute has adapted a process to focus on the assets, needs and attributes of the over 65 population and consider what this means for local jurisdictions. This is accomplished by working with local leaders to establish a local Aging in Place goa, engaging a broad array of civic players around the goal, and raising awareness among everyone of the importance of embracing the growing older population.

Ten communities have been selected by Partners and MetLife Foundation to participate in the second year of the program. All are involved in a variety of innovative projects that have potential for being models for others.

Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria will create a stakeholder group to roll out a replicable, area-by-area approach to creating viable, safe access for pedestrians, with particular emphasis on the older individual and the individual living with disabilities. This “Complete Streets” initiative goes well beyond transportation- it involves looking at aging in place on the whole, recognizing that access to places for seniors results in living healthier, longer, and with dignity.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville will engage the 50 and older population to determine what makes aging well in Asheville possible. As a result of the assessment, which will be distributed as a survey, Asheville will then create a model for aging in place that goes well beyond transportation, but certainly includes it.

Chicago, Illinois

The City of Chicago will create and implement the first phase of a volunteer drive effort to provide seniors, as well as people who are blind or visually impaired between the ages of 18-64, access to medical treatments such as dialysis and chemotherapy. As the program takes shape, it will expand to include other types of trips.

Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri

Kansas City will engage the senior and youth populations in an intergenerational recorded history program, whereby stories of older adults and histories of neighbourhoods will be recorded, preserved, and utilized for the good of the community. Anticipated outcomes include older adults achieving a sense of purpose, and being considered valued assets within the community at-large.

Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville will bring the city’s “Complete Streets” policy from concept to action. In the next 12 months the city will engage in a three-pronged effort of engaging, raising awareness, and celebrating successes. This will specifically involve: creating a Photo Voice initiative with older adults, where barriers to access will be identified and documented; identifying and executing at least two (one urban, one suburban) publically visible demonstration projects that respond to such barriers; and sharing these findings through a high-profile, community-wide celebration.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis will address the needs of older adults in the region whose homes are not currently suited for aging in place. Through the formation of a public-private partnership, the team will: identify viable funding and volunteer sources, develop a set of criteria for determining necessary home modifications, and create an implementation plan for a kickoff event in March 2014. The Memphis team will develop a centralized system that determines the home modification needs of older adults, directs them to these services, and provides funding for those who cannot afford to make such changes themselves.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City will develop a process to insure that four senior centers set to be constructed in the city will be as inclusive, accessible, and encouraging of quality aging in place for the older individual, as possible. The process will involve asset mapping, utilizing universal design concepts, and incorporating lifelong learning, arts and culture, and health and wellness into the programmatic offerings of the centers.

Phoenix, Arizona

Phoenix will offer site-specific instruction to assist older adults in accessing reliable transportation options that enhance their capacity to age in place. Some critical steps along the way will include the creation and distribution of “origin and destination” surveys, investigating transit plans to restructure paratransit, researching and developing metrics for cost-benefit analysis of free travel for individuals aged 65 and older, as well as identifying the specific steps and processes required by each pilot program.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City will utilize the opportunities provided by the creation of the Utah Performing Arts Center and branding of the “Cultural Core” to insure that the spaces and associated programs enrich the lives of older adults. Salt Lake City will also assist arts groups in discovering new audiences by way of the senior population. Structural concepts of universal design and ADA compliance will be factored into the creation of the center, as will programmatic concepts that are inclusive of the diverse population of Salt Lake City.

San Diego, California

San Diego will engage their senior, disabled, and veteran populations in the process of developing a one-stop shop of seamless, intuitive, inviting technology for the older individual to access transportation and other community-wide information. The system, named “OSCAR” (One Stop Community Access Resource), will come to fruition once the following has taken place: needs assessment conducted; design and functionality of system articulated; engagement plan developed; prototype testing done; and data from assessments and testing synthesized.

For more information on the City Leaders Institute on Aging in Place, please contact Vince Slevin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 202-887-5990 x103.

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