The Need to EngAGE in Aging

Posted on December 27, 2011 by Nancy Henry, office manager for The Patterson Foundation

By Nancy Henry, The Patterson Foundation

Sarasota County in Florida is No.1 for the oldest demographic in the nation, with more than 31 percent of residents age 65 or older, based on the 2010 US Census. This shows we’re living longer, and are healthier than we’ve ever been!

There’s a growing thirst for information and resources concerning age-related issues in our Sarasota community. Issues like transportation and mobility, health and well-being, social inclusion, available resources and services.

So how does The Patterson Foundation’s (TPF) values play into this space?

By engaging in partnerships, sharing and learning, we are building connective tissue to create new realities. It is inevitable that with this boom in a longer living population, there must be structure transformation in our society and community.

Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, is the volunteer lead for the Southeastern Council of Foundations EngAGEment Initiative, one of 16 initiatives of Grantmakers in Aging (GIA), and supported by The Atlantic Philanthropies. Through this initiative, its members are introduced to the growing needs of our aging population by engaging in education and awareness activities.

With a focus on 11 states, making it the largest of the Grantmakers in Aging EngAGEment initiatives, the SECF EngAGEment Initiative relies heavily on web-based technology to share, inform and educate others.

Monthly webinars and social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) are critical components in promoting these learning opportunities. Pattie Johnson, coordinator for the SECF EngAGEment Initiative, posted a recent blog on the Initiative’s strategic use of technology to inform and connect.

Two of TPF’s initiatives, Caregiver Connect and Aging with Dignity and Independence (partnering with SCOPE), are directly related to aging.

Through the SECF EngAGEment Initiative webinar series, Caregiver Connect will present a webinar on Jan. 18 on Caregiver Central. This web-based platform was built through a collaborative effort of foundations and nonprofits to efficiently prepare, educate and support caregivers in our communities.

In addition, TPF is also a catalyst investor in the Institute for the Ages (I4A), whose mission is to activate ideas, service and policy changes that will prepare us for the opportunities and challenges associated with aging populations. In August 2011, through the webinar series, Debra Jacobs and Tim Dutton (I4A) presented  “Aging As A Global Asset”, which shared the local impact and national significance of I4A’s work.

This is how TPF engages – How do you see yourself engaging in this space? As a caregiver? As a proponent in changing policies? As one of the 40 million 65+ currently in the US?

  • Learn about these and other concepts used in TPF's approach to philanthropy.


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