Tompkins County, through its Office for the Aging, is one of three New York counties to be awarded grants of $100,000 each by the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York to support the development of Age-Friendly Centers of Excellence. Each county will partner with local community organizations to fulfill the program’s goals. Erie County and Oneida County are also recipients of Age-Friendly Center of Excellence Awards.
The Tompkins County Office for Aging will collaborate with several local organizations to continue implementing age-friendly initiatives in their community. These collaborators include the Finger Lakes Independence Center, Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, Ithaca College, Wonderful Wheelchairs, and Esther Greenhouse, an expert in universal design and aging in place.
The grant from the Health Foundation will allow the Tompkins County Age-Friendly Center of Excellence to become a regional hub of expertise in order to educate and assist other partners and institutions in incorporating age-friendly practices. The Tompkins County Office for the Aging also is participating in the Health Foundation’s Aging by Design program to support its age-friendly initiatives.
“Tompkins County Office for the Aging and our collaborating partners are very excited to accept this Age-Friendly Center of Excellence grant,” said Director Lisa Monroe. “We are looking forward to furthering our efforts in Tompkins County, creating a hub of resources and information to those engaged in the Age-Friendly process as well as being part of a larger learning collaborative. As the older population expands and lives longer than ever before, this work will be critical to support aging well. We know that when Age-Friendly principles are applied to the environment, individuals can benefit through improved health and overall wellbeing, increased independence and greater social interaction. These are benefits people of all ages can take advantage of as they grow older.”
The Health Foundation grants are part of a partnership with the New York State Office for the Aging’s Age-Friendly Planning Grant Program, an initiative that recently awarded similar grants to other counties across the state. The program is designed to help communities and local governments incorporate healthy, age-friendly community principles into all relevant policies, plans, ordinances, and programs. The Health Foundation is providing additional support for the state’s program by underwriting a learning collaborative and technical assistance program, led by the New York Academy of Medicine.