University of Maine Center on Aging
Poster presentation from the Gerontological Society of America Conference. Presentation date: November 14, 2019
Presentation Location: Austin, TX
As the older adult population grows in the United States, the need for community planning approaches that respond to the needs of older adults is of increasing importance. As a result, lifelong community movements, encompassing models such as Age-Friendly Communities, Livable Communities, and “Aging-in-Place” initiatives are proliferating. Maine, the oldest state by median age, currently hosts the largest number of AARP designated Age-Friendly Communities efforts (currently at 69 communities). At the core of these efforts is a resource-intensive planning process that is driven by community input and involvement. Given the size of this network, the purpose of this study was to collect descriptive information about the status of existing lifelong communities initiatives, their training and support needs, and the desired format and configuration of future training programming. Study findings were then used to inform the development of a novel older adult leadership initiative called the Lifelong Communities Fellows program.
An electronic survey was distributed in summer 2018 to community representatives from 76 lifelong communities initiatives throughout Maine. Participants were recruited from existing databases of such contacts maintained by AARP and by the Maine Council on Aging, a statewide aging advocacy organization. A total of 47 individuals responded to the survey representing 38 communities and a response rate of 50%. The survey consisted of 17 closed and open-response questions. For open-response questions, basic thematic analysis was carried out to identify common themes within the response data.
Crittenden, Jennifer; Oh, Patricia; Lee, Laura; and LaChance, Brandy, "Identifying Salient Training and Support Needs Within a Statewide Lifelong Communities Network" (2019). Maine Center on Aging Research and Evaluation. 36.
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