Sharing knowledge about the Aging Mastery Program® locally and beyond

Sharing knowledge about the Aging Mastery Program® locally and beyond

Posted on April 13, 2016 by Deborah Gauvreau

Last year The Patterson Foundation (TPF), an enterprise funder of the National Council on Aging (NCOA), initiated a venture exploring the sustainability of NCOA’s new Aging Mastery Program® (AMP).

TPF demonstrates again and again its capacity to enhance positive results by facilitating a link with a national organization’s program. TPF brings exciting new concepts to our region, experiments, finds new opportunities for success and offers fresh and deep knowledge to the national organization to leverage and share local findings nationally. It is a beautiful flow from national to local and local back to national for sharing broadly.

About a year ago, TPF invited three agencies in our region to launch NCOA’s Aging Mastery Program® -- the Enrichment Center at Renaissance on 9th in Bradenton, The Friendship Centers in Sarasota and Venice, and Aging in Paradise Resource Center on Longboat Key.

Early April marked the culmination of the experiment and a final Knowledge Sharing Session (special thanks to TPF partner No Margin, No Mission for sharing their templates). The session was held to convey learning and results with NCOA and one another after agencies offered two cycles of the 10-week Aging Mastery Program®. From the outset, the team of agencies and NCOA journeyed together communicating about planning, implementing, tracking resources, and thinking creatively and strategically about the application of NCOA’s core program.

After rigorous preparation, the three-hour Knowledge Sharing Session was conducted. Each agency provided a fully loaded cost analysis, a summary of strategies and results regarding sustainability, overall outcomes of the program, impressions of impact, numbers involved, suggestions for what could be improved, and intentions for the future. Each agency shared what they had learned about: communications, “aha” moments, organizational changes experienced, the emergence of opportunities, challenges that arose, and final thoughts.

The leadership and supporting staff of each agency revealed powerful results and findings.

Just a few include:

1. The Financial Picture - The unique nature and qualities of AMP supported an across-agency agreement to experiment with charging around $100 for the 10-week program. No agency had charged for the program previously. Charging proved successful. It was learned that a combination of charging, sponsorships, and some grants will probably be needed for program sustainability.

2. Connections – The multi-topic curriculum of AMP required recruitment of quality speakers, the identification of sponsors, and marketing strategies employed resulted in developing and reinforcing community connections. The program attracted new participants. Broader and deeper community connections can be leveraged in the future.

3. Strong Program Results for Participants - AMP was more powerful and transformative than expected. Evaluation research showed that AMP is not “just another workshop.” Participants reported changing behavior patterns, being more engaged, an improved sense of well-being and more.

Each of the participating agencies plan to continue offering AMP; two of the three are planning to “take it on the road” to their other locations and explore offering AMP at continuing care communities, faith-based communities, and senior-living developments.

Having partnered throughout the entire journey and having participated in the Knowledge Sharing Session NCOA has detailed reports along with pages and pages of notes from this region’s experiment so they can begin to share among their staff and weave findings into the expansion of the program as AMP is rolled out across the nation.

Together we are stronger. Learning and sharing as we grow amplifies the contributions we can make.

To contact Deborah: dgauvreau@thepattersonfoundation.org

Join Deborah on Twitter: @DeborahGauvreau


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