Guest Post: Growing up, growing older and working toward better communities

Guest Post: Growing up, growing older and working toward better communities

Posted on October 18, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Editor's Note: Due to Southeastern Council of Foundation’s ongoing EngAGEment Initiative,  Pattie Johnson, an independent contractor funded by The Patterson Foundation, will attend the 2013 Grantmakers in Aging annual conference Oct. 16-18 in Kansas City, MO. 

I'm in Kansas City today representing the Southeastern Council of Foundations' EngAGEment Initiative at the Grantmakers in Aging 2013 Annual Conference. During the next few days, we'll be discussing what we've learned through the EngAGEment Initiative and the newer Community AGEnda and anticipating what might lie ahead for age-friendly community development and for other issues related to healthy aging.

Each day for the next 20 years, 10,000 people will join the ranks of Americans 65 and older. It is a diverse group and our country is only just beginning to prepare for this demographic reality. There are enormous opportunities as well as challenges facing nonprofits, funders, and the communities at large. During the conference, I'll post reports and observations from my participation to share ways to support and nurture innovative ways to build age-friendly communities.

Several grantmakers from the SECF states are represented at this meeting, including Torrey DeKeyser from the Eyesight Foundation of Alabama (Birmingham), Katie Midgley from the Plough Foundation (Memphis,TN), Martha Pelaez and Peter Wood from the Health Foundation of South Florida (Miami), and the Diana Silvey from the Winter Park Health Foundation (Winter Park, FL). 

Others are consultants or represent nonprofit organizations in the SECF region: Rich Bell from Active Living by Design (NC), KaDee Holt from the Athens Community Council on Aging (GA), Stephen Ewell from the Consumer Electronics Association Foundation (VA), Cozzie King from the Naitonal Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (VA), and Stacey Knight from United Way Worldwide (VA).

Today, Katie Midgley and I made a site visit to Pemberton Park, an exclusive community for grandparents raising their grandchildren. It was a very impressive community that is adjacent to health services, Head Start, parks, and retail shops and services. In addition to a professional manager, Pemberton Park provides on-site supportive services.

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