No one can do this work alone. The lifelong community team will benefit from forming partnerships with residents, volunteer groups, local organizations, and the municipality. Collaboration is fundamental to Age-Friendly and key to making lasting change that is inclusive, representative, and supported by the community as a whole.
It can be challenging to bring different sectors of the community together to work jointly on a project. However, we have heard from many Maine communities that collaborations are one of the benefits of adopting a lifelong community approach. After all, since everyone is aging, we may as well work together to make our a communities a place where all ages, including older residents, can thrive.
It sounds simple but it isn't always easy, even when everyone agrees on shared goals. Collaboration takes time to build trusting relationships so that all of the partners feel safe contributing resources to the shared project. No one wants to feel that they are being taken advantage of so partnerships can't flourish until there is a strong level of trust. Finding and developing partnerships can be messy and time consuming but the rewards are great.
Below, we offer some broad guidelines for effective collaborations and then focus on two sectors in the community - municipal government and the media - that can be particularly helpful to ensuring that your lifelong community initiative will be around for the long haul. To learn more about funding partners, go to our Funding Strategies page.