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CONTACT: Kelly Taft, APR
Community AGEnda grant from Grantmakers in Aging and Pfizer Foundation is part of $1.3 million national effort to help America’s towns and cities prepare for a growing older population
PHOENIX (October 30, 2012) – The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) has been awarded a $150,000 grant from the Pfizer Foundation and Grantmakers in Aging (GIA), a national association of funders, as part of Community AGEnda: Improving America for All Ages. This new initiative is funding nonprofits in five U.S. cities to help accelerate local efforts to make communities “age-friendly” – that is, great places to grow up and grow old.
MAG will develop business plans and expertise for implementing locally-relevant age-friendly models in the Phoenix area, based on an assessment of the needs of three to five neighborhoods. MAG will also create a website for older adults ages 60-70, to help them plan to remain in their communities as they get older.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton sees this funding as critical to meeting the needs and tapping into the talents of people 60 years and more. “We are lucky to have so many older adults with significant experience in our communities,” Stanton said. “My goal is to help them remain in their homes and continue to bridge the generational gap through learning experiences and more accessible relationships with our youth. The Age-Friendly Cities Initiative will make our region an even better place to live for people of all ages.”
MAG has raised $129,800 in cash and in-kind pledges from the City of Phoenix, Sun Health, Benevilla, Duet, the Tempe Community Council, Chicanos Por La Causa, and the Area Agency on Aging, with more requests pending. Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust sponsored MAG’s previous work in aging, including providing funding for the Municipal Aging Services Project and serving on the leadership team for the City Leaders Institute on Aging in Place. Dr. Wayne Parker, Director of Research and Evaluation of the Trust, will advise the evaluation of the region’s work in the Age-Friendly Cities Initiative and Carol Kratz, Program Director, will guide the implementation of the project.
“Research tells us that most people want to grow old in the places that matter most to them, around family and community,” said John Feather, PhD, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging. “But that’s only going to be possible if all of us — regional planners, elected officials, citizen groups, philanthropies, industry and others — start thinking and taking action now to put age-friendly ideas into practice. Supporting age-friendly development is a natural role for local philanthropies because of their unique knowledge of the people and particular needs of their own regions.”
America is getting older fast. Today, 40 million people in the United States are ages 65 and older, and this number is projected to more than double to 89 million by 2050. Yet most cities, towns and regions are not preparing to take advantage of the opportunities — and meet the challenges — presented by a growing number of older adults.
“The aging of America’s population is one of the most important trends of the 21st Century, with tremendous implications for our future, our health, our economy and our quality of life,” said Caroline Roan, President of the Pfizer Foundation. “By partnering with Grantmakers in Aging, we believe we can promote health and wellness, advance the important national conversation around aging and help our communities take tangible steps to prepare for these huge demographic changes.”
A national-local collaboration
Community AGEnda is providing a total of $750,000 in funding to five communities or regions, and will use an additional $550,000 to assess and support the local efforts and inspire similar work across the country. This work includes promotional activities and the development of planning, assessment and strategy tools and other practical resources, including an online searchable database describing the growing number of age-friendly projects in the United States. The project will also gather national and regional funders to spur greater interest in age-friendly community development. In addition to Greater Phoenix, four other U.S. communities will undertake similar work, which will help to:
- Address transportation challenges for seniors in Atlanta, including neighborhood walkability;
- Establish development incentives to create an age-friendly Lifetime Community District in Bloomington, IN;
- Prepare large employers to hire more older adults in Miami-Dade County;
- Improve older-adult transportation and mobility options in the greater Kansas City area;
What is an Age-friendly Community?
Nationwide efforts to make communities age-friendly take various forms. Often they involve physical environments — from safe outdoor spaces and accessible public transportation to affordable, well-designed housing. Other age-friendly initiatives tackle social needs: creating engaging cultural and outdoor activities, public services, and volunteering options. Each community will focus on their own local challenges.
About Grantmakers In Aging
Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) is an inclusive and responsive membership organization including all types of philanthropies with a common dedication to improve the experience of aging. GIA 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. For more information, please visit www.giaging.org.
About The Pfizer Foundation
The Pfizer Foundation is a charitable organization established by Pfizer Inc. Its mission is to promote access to quality health care, to nurture innovation, and to support the community involvement of Pfizer colleagues. The Pfizer Foundation provides funding and resources to local and international organizations that expand and improve global health strategies. In 2011, the Foundation provided over $16 million in grants and employee matching gifts to non-governmental organizations around the world. For more information please visit Pfizer.com.
Maricopa Association of Governments
Media Contact: Kelly Taft or Amy St. Peter
Email Contact: Kelly Taft or Amy St. Peter
Phone: (602) 254-6300
Grantmakers In Aging
Media Contact: Elliott Walker
Media Contact: MacKay Jimeson
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LIST A – Program Description
The Atlanta Regional Commission will assess the metro area’s housing, zoning and transportation plans; make recommendations to improve infrastructure; establish a health and wellness promotion plan; and host workshops to raise awareness about the need to create age-friendly communities.
The Indiana Grantmakers Alliance will partner with the Center for Aging and Community at Indiana University to help three Indiana communities enhance development of an existing “naturally occurring retirement community,” or NORC, in Indianapolis; ensure an age-friendly perspective is incorporated into local development efforts in Martindale-Brightwoord; and use zoning, policy and other incentives to encourage age-friendly neighborhood development in Bloomington.
The Mid-America Regional Council Community Service Corporation (MARC) will assess and improve older-adult transportation and mobility options in the greater Kansas City area. MARC will also launch a two-pronged public awareness campaign to increase support for caregivers, and to tap the expertise of older adults as community resources. They also plan to work with the First Suburbs Coalition to examine the needs and plans for making surrounding areas more age-friendly.
The Health Foundation of South Florida will work with five local partners to advance Miami-Dade County-wide planning for age-friendly transportation, land use and community design; develop an action plan for the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces that will establish 12 age-friendly parks; help large employers increase their hiring of older adults; and conduct a demonstration project to improve mobility. Mobility planning will encompass better biking, walking, and public transit options.
The Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) will develop business plans and expertise for implementing locally-relevant age-friendly models in the Phoenix area, based on an assessment of the needs of three-to-five neighborhoods. MAG will also create a website for older adults ages 60-70, to help them plan to remain in their communities as they get older.
LIST B – Funding
ARC has funding commitments from the Clayton County Senior Services, Clayton County Community Development Department and the city of Avondale Estates, with additional requests pending.
IGA has secured $15,000 in matching funds from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority and additional requests for foundation funding are pending.
MARC has secured $50,000 in matching funding through a grant from the W.J. Brace Charitable Trust.
The Health Foundation of South Florida has provided funding, in cash and in kind, for the Community AGEnda project.
The Maricopa Association of Governments has raised $129,800 in cash and in-kind pledges from the City of Phoenix, Sun Health, Benevilla, Duet, the Tempe Community Council, Chicanos Por La Causa, and the Area Agency on Aging, with more requests pending.