Healthy Aging Task Force Newsletter: October, 2014
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Healthy Aging Update

Since we last met in May....

Fall is upon us and a lot of you, both members of our 7 workgroups and supporters of the initiative are wondering what's been going on since we met in May to review the operating plan. For a volunteer effort we've accomplished quite a bit and we thank all of you for your support and commitment. Here are the headlines.

"Matter of Balance," a fall risk reduction program, is being hosted this fall by the Councils on Aging in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown. The classes are full and both have waiting lists for the next offering.  The trainer was trained thanks to an anonymous donation to the HATF, and is training others so more Vineyarders can benefit from this important course.
Rural Scholars: Here they go again...
These rural scholars from UMass Medical did the 2013 study that lead to the creation of the Healthy Aging Task Force.
Rural Scholars to Study Elder Abuse and Neglect
The Rural Scholars Committee of the Dukes County Health Council is once again sponsoring Rural Scholars from UMASS School of Medicine and the Graduate School of Nursing; the team will be here from October 19th through October 30th. This year's project, designed by Martha’s Vineyard Community Service’ CONNECT To End Violence program, will consider Elder Abuse Prevention on the Vineyard, taking a closer look at elder abuse and neglect , prevention strategies, and current services. The Rural Scholars will review statistics and literature, and interview community members and professionals who interact with and provide services for Island elders. The Rural Scholars will then present their findings and provide recommendations for enhancing the prevention of, and response to, elder abuse and neglect on Island.

The team at CONNECT To End Violence is in the process of scheduling interviews with potential interview candidates. If you have not been contacted by a representative of CONNECT by Wednesday, October 15th and would like to participate, please contact Program Director Jennifer Neary at 508-684-8074 ext 103 or

More News Next Month!
Our next newsletter will be published in early November and include updates on our other workgroups, and more on HATF initiatives.
Community Wide Strategic Plan
Our big project this fall is the development of a community-wide strategic plan for addressing the needs of Island elders. It will be developed by the organizations/agencies that fund or provide services to Island elders and Senior HATF Management during three facilitated sessions. This is funded by a Technical Assistance grant through the MV Commission.

Over the last year, through participation in the HATF, the towns, county, and Island health and human service agencies have all shown a clear commitment to Island elders. However, as we all start the FY2016 budget cycle, we face the primary question: how can the six towns and numerous agencies best mobilize as a community to invest in supporting our elders?  We need a mechanism for determining Island-wide funding priorities for projects supporting elders that require fiscal support from six towns. We also need a way to set Island wide goals for elders, and to identify responsibility for achieving those goals across multiple entities.

Fortunately, a mechanism exists to help do exactly that and it is a proven approach to strategic planning used by groups in the US and around the world to improve the quality of life in communities. It’s called Results Based Accountability (RBA) and it was recently used by the Island Wide Youth Collaborative here on the Vineyard with great success.

HATF Receives More Grants
We've been fortunate to receive several grants since May and a few more are still pending:
  • $40,000 from the Miller Foundation for education and outreach about the issues Island elders face.
  • $10,000 Technical Assistance Grant from the State via the MV Commission for Community-Wide Strategic Planning.
  • $9,000 Title III Grant, through Elder Services CC&I, to train trainers for "Powerful Tools for Caregivers." Our Caregiver Support Workgroup chose this program which will give family caregivers tools and strategies to better handle the unique challenges they face.

Housing Workgroup Starts Presentations to Towns
The Affordable Elder and Workforce Housing Workgroup is on the the road with a presentation to town Planning Boards and Affordable Housing Committees they prepared over the summer. They are asking towns to adopt "Visitability" standards and revisit their zoning bylaws in light of the needs of our growing elder population. They are giving the towns a tool, prepared by the MVC, that outlines 28 zoning provisions favorable to affordable housing they can consider.
Copyright © 2014 MV Healthy Aging Task Force, All rights reserved.

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