Feb 14, 2011
(or see CD News post)
Conversations for Community Change
What would your community have to look like to support you as you age?
Would you like to take part in designing that community?
Senior Services is asking local Baby Boomers to do just that – design “communities-for-all” that will support us so we can age confidently and safely. It’s part of our new initiative, “Aging Your Way”.
If you’re like most people, you don’t like to think about aging; yet every day about 10,000 Baby Boomers hit their 60th birthday. The current programs, services and structures just don’t have the capacity to deal with that demographic. “Aging Your Way” provides the opportunity for you to tell us what you want and what talents you can contribute to make it happen.
We’ve already held events in SE, SW and NE Seattle and in Shoreline, with five more communities in line next and a summit in the fall. Everything about these four events outstripped our expectations: we had capacity crowds; the participants represented the individual community demographics; they easily created and communicated their visions; they identified projects that would help make those visions a reality; and they signed up for Action Teams where they can bring their individual passion, knowledge, skills and resources to the process.
What key factors have contributed to our success so far? First, the time is right for this work to begin – Baby Boomers are often in denial about their own aging, but as they step in as care givers for their parents or spouses, they’re finding that some neighborhoods just aren’t equipped to support an aging population. They know it’s time to re-think and prepare. Second, we hired Jim Diers, professional community organizer and former Director of Neighborhoods for the City of Seattle to be our facilitator and Anne Jess to capture the energy in a graphic. And third, we seem to have a lot of “spark plugs” in King County. When our residents find a topic they feel strongly about – they engage.
Who should attend? We are looking for residents of these communities, ages 45-65 and other younger-thinking older adults who are creative and who are ready to bring ideas and action to the table. The gathering in your neighborhood will be held on Thursday, March 3, from 5:30 until 8:30 at the Garfield Community Center, located at 2323 East Cherry St. Attendees must pre-register to attend a gathering. Please go to: www.seniorservices.org, then click on Aging Your Way to register online. If you have questions or would prefer to talk to someone in person, please contact Sabrina Jones at 206-268-6702.