Tidbits that Knit Threads into a Tapestry of Impact

Tidbits that Knit Threads into a Tapestry of Impact

Posted on April 13, 2017 by Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation
As I reflect on the American Society on Aging's Aging in America conference, I am all the more energized about how the work of The Patterson Foundation can make a difference locally and beyond. Thanks to Next Avenue Publisher Susan Donley, Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) CEO Michael Adams, and Caring Across Generations, Co-Director Sarita Gupta for your tidbits!

Tidbits heard that thread to TPF's work:

By 2022, 50% of the workforce will be caring for both a parent and a child:
  • This touches at the intersection of Age-Friendly and Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, in that working with employers so they don't lose employees translates into a vibrant economy with families achieving their aspirations. A multi-generation approach that engages business, families, and nonprofits can forge new pathways
  • The reality of the "panini generation” of caring for both parents and raising children deserves imaginative and reality-based avenues for success
  • By using time-tested Harwood Community Conversations in settings convenient to families, Aspirations to Actions builds connective tissue for both Age-Friendly Sarasota and Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • The potential of caring "with" rather than caring "for" speaks to the value that every generation brings to families and community
  • As NCOA's Aging Mastery Programs engage older adults in planning for their future, they discover ways to engage in volunteering, healthy living, and planning for their own futures. As Age Friendly Sarasota brings intergenerational best practices to the region, people and organizations can adapt ideas to local aspirations
  • Navigating the realities of intergenerational caregiving starts with beginning before a crisis
  • Age-Friendly Sarasota focuses on creating the future, rather than responding to the crisis of the now, while Aging Mastery Program helps older adults understand options and possibilities. Taking a multi-generational approach, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading works to engage families where they are.

The weaving of a vibrant community tapestry begins by:
1. Each of us being open to discovering new ideas.
2. Creating time and spaces for people to share their stories and aspirations.
3. Looking for the threads that can be woven to strengthen what works.
4. Approaching hurdles as opportunities and understanding "why" they exist.
5. Sharing what we learn with others questing for positives.

Yes, the intricacies of creating a vibrant tapestry begin with many threads of varying textures and origins ... but when we let the possibilities do the weaving ... what new realities emerge!

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