In 2014, the Endowment for Health launched a collective impact approach to advance healthy aging in New Hampshire that would become the NH Alliance for Healthy Aging (NH AHA). Rooted in nearly two years of work to engage stakeholders from many disciplines and from across the state, a shared vision emerged: to create communities in New Hampshire that advance culture, policies and services which support older adults and their families, providing a wide range of choices that advance health, independence and dignity.
In addition, six areas were identified that would be the focus for creating these age-friendly communities. The six domains include: Living Arrangements, Family Caregivers, Social and Civic Engagement, Physical and Mental Well-being, Advocacy, and Fundamental Needs.
To help inform the launch of the collective impact process, the Center on Aging and Community Living at the University of NH conducted a research-based environmental scan that encompassed the six areas of elder health. Each domain area included background information and the importance of the domain to elder health; existing programs and resources in New Hampshire; best practices nationally; policy, programmatic, research implications; and recommendations to transform the current system. This report was used as a foundation for the establishment of the Alliance’s 8 strategic priority areas.
In 2016, work groups convened for each of the 6 domains the stakeholders identified as related to creating age-friendly communities. The 6 work groups identified strategies within each of the domains. Knowing that the group could not take on all the strategies at once, a prioritization process occurred which led to the establishment of the Alliance’s 8 strategic priority areas:
- Developing an advocacy infrastructure;
- convening a cross-disciplinary policy group to better coordinate care and services for older adults;
- care coordination;
- improving the workforce availability for quality healthcare and social services;
- enhancing support for family caregivers;
- increasing transportation options;
- advancing zoning changes to promote affordable and accessible housing options; and
- ensuring access to information on resources and services is available for older adults and their families.
Working groups convened in the summer of 2016 for each of the 8 priority areas. For a current summary of the work of the 8 strategic priority areas click here.
The Caregiving workgroup has drafted a NH specific caregiver self-identification tool modeled after the successful National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s “It’s About How You LIVE: At Work” Campaign.
A Funding Scan for Age-Friendly Initiatives in New Hampshire
This scan was conducted by researchers at the University of New Hampshire Center on Aging and Community Living. It provides information on the numerous funding opportunities that could support New Hampshire’s Collective Impact aging initiative in it’s work to create age-friendly communities.
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