Organizing for success!

Age-Friendly Sullivan's Action Team

You don't have to see
the whole staircase,
just take the first step.

Martin Luther King, JR.

Most age-friendly community efforts start with a core group of people who have a passion for making their community a better place to age. Since aging is a lifelong process, that means the community is better for everyone--from toddlers to centennarians. Lifelong communities typically begin with a growing awareness of the need to make it easier for older people to thrive in the community - to live healthy, active , and engaged lives. It often starts with an elected official, municipal leader, resident, or an organization recognizes a gap in the services, activites orprograms available for older residents and sees the benefits of adopting age-inclusive solutions. 

Regardless of where the idea to embrace an age-friendly approach to community development starts, the work always begins with a core team of like-minded individuals and organizations who share a vision for age-friendly. 

An effective team should include people who have different perspectives on the work ahead. This usually means including people from the municipal government, the volunteer sector, local businesses, social service providers, funders, and older residents. It’s vital to recruit residents who represent the community’s diversity. For example, if your community has a strong arts or farming community, make sure that someone on your team has ties to those groups. In most Maine communities, it is critical to include the voices of families who have lived in the community for generations as well as newcomers. We all bring different, complementary, perspectives that make our lifelong community stronger. 

Members of the core team will reach out to community leaders and organizers to create partnerships in support of lifelong goals. Although an informal, citizen-initiated group can get the age-friendly ball rolling, additional help may be needed to:

Note: Below, and throughout our site, underlined text indicates a live link.

Structure for sustainability.

Developing a structure that is right for your community and will sustain the work you are doing is key for long-term impact and is diffrerent in each community.

Do better together.

Effective community organizing requires a strong, inclusive leadership team that works together to turn ideas and interests into reality.

A vision for change.

Defining your vision, mission, and values helps your team focus on what's important, while giving others an understanding of your work.

For a Bit of Inspiration.....

Our 2023 Annual Lifelong Maine Conference,  Building Strong Foundations for Future Growth covered topics to help you along your journey, including:

Highlights and resources from the conference are available here.

Throughout the day, we heard about the success of the Year Four, Lifelong Fellows Program and were treated to brief poster presentations about the work that host communities accomplished.