Indiana University's Center on Aging and Community and the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance will partner on an effort to develop housing and economic opportunities for aging Hoosiers. The effort is being funded by a $120,000 grant from the Pfizer Foundation.

November 3, 2014

News Release

Bloomington, Ind. — Grantmakers In Aging, a national association of funders, and the Pfizer Foundation have announced a third year of funding for the Community AGEnda Initiative to help American communities — including Bloomington and others in Indiana — become great places to grow up and grow old.

The Pfizer Foundation has granted the association $1.49 million, from which the five participating Community AGEnda communities will each receive $120,000. Participating communities are the state of Indiana; Maricopa County, Ariz.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; metro Atlanta; and the greater Kansas City region. Each site will also be required to raise at least $40,000 in local matching funds.

In Indiana, the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance will partner with the Center on Aging and Community at Indiana University to strengthen the statewide Lifelong Indiana Coalition; develop private-sector initiatives for age- and ability-friendly housing options and economic opportunities in the city of Bloomington and along its B-line Trail; work with at least five Indiana community foundations to raise funds for future age-friendly activities; and create opportunities for five youth philanthropy programs, housed at community foundations, to engage older adults in their philanthropic programs.

“The B-line Rails to Trails project, right through our vibrant downtown, is a wonderful public asset that can provide the core for an amazing and unique lifetime community district,” said Phil Stafford, director of IU's Center on Aging and Community.

America is getting older fast, as more than 10,000 baby boomers turn 65 every day. Yet most communities are not preparing to take advantage of the opportunities — and meet the challenges — presented by a growing number of older adults.

“With the aging population growing rapidly, we recognize the need to make our communities more age-friendly, helping people live better by staying involved, healthy and independent, able to live in their own homes as long as they want to, and maintaining important connections to families, neighbors and communities,” said John Feather, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging. “We are proud to work with the Pfizer Foundation on this important initiative. The good news is that age-friendly communities are better places for people of all ages.”

The steps that communities take to become more age-friendly vary but often include efforts to become safer, healthier and more walkable, and to ensure the availability of affordable and accessible housing; good transportation options for non-drivers; access to both paid work and volunteer opportunities; strong intergenerational connections; and access to well-coordinated health and social services.

In its third year, Community AGEnda will place particular emphasis on sustainability, seeking to embed age-friendly principles in the work of participating and partner organizations, strengthen national and international partnerships and create informational projects to support future age-friendly efforts.

In addition to the work of the five individual sites, Community AGEnda grantees in Arizona and Indiana will work together to explore approaches to helping rural communities become more age-friendly through local engagement and collaboration, and will receive $37,000 to identify and share promising practices in both states through an active learning network, site visits, a sister-city project and an age-friendly community competition.

About the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community

The Center on Aging and Community is a division of the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana's University Center for Excellence on Disabilities, which works to increase community capacity in disability through academic instruction, research, dissemination and training, and technical assistance.

About the Office of the Vice Provost for Research

The Indiana Institute receives support from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington, which is dedicated to supporting ongoing faculty research and creative activity, developing new multidisciplinary initiatives and maximizing the potential of faculty to accomplish path-breaking work.

About Grantmakers In Aging

Grantmakers In Aging is an inclusive and responsive membership organization comprised of all types of philanthropies with a common dedication to improving the experience of aging. Grantmakers In Aging members have a shared recognition that a society that is better for older adults is a society that is better for people of all ages.

Source: Indiana University

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