communities for life approach beginning to jell

The meetings of the NCOA/ASA in Las Vegas saw multiple sessions and meetings on the subject of aging-friendly, elder-friendly, aging-ready, communities for life, etc. There is no agreement on a singular phrase at this point, but lots of interest, as evidenced by the prominent role of the topic on the agenda. There were multiple single sessions and a day-long intensive on Tuesday, March 17. Work in Indiana was profiled in several sessions, including two that focused on the Indiana NORC’s (naturally occuring retirement communities), also called communities for life. A sidebar meeting convened by Andy Scharlach, Kristin Bodiford and Rosemary Williams attracted about 30 people and it was decided to seek a larger presence on next year’s agenda and convene a social event. Next year’s ASA meetings are to be held in Chicago. The day long intensive I participated in drew an estimated 200 people over the course of the day. It seems clear to me that the shift to a community paradigm, complementing  the traditional  focus on services to individual seniors, is happening. I believe the political climate is ripe for this approach, indeed, that the political climate is not the reason for but the consequence of a broad desire to come together as citizens to improve the world.

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