242337 Using community-academic partnerships to create livable communities to promote civic engagement for "boomers" and aging adults

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:30 AM

Elaine T. Jurkowski, MSW, PhD , School of Social Work, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL
As baby boomers are emerging into the older adults of our communities, it is important to consider ways in which communities are prepared to meet the needs of an aging population. The “Livable Communities” approach examined communities on ten specific domains to determine how viable communities were to promote civic engagement of their population as they grow older and want to remain in their communities. METHODS: Communities were assessed through the use of focus groups and key stakeholders to determine the strengths and areas of development necessary for boomers to remain in communities as they age. Communities were selected based upon demographic and socio-economic profiles to determine if there were similarities and differences between perceptions of stakeholders. Academic and community based partnerships were utilized in the process to help define and build linkages in order to move forward with findings. FINDINGS: Differences existed between communities and stakeholders regarding the perception of ideal communities for retirement. Resources and availability of specific health care and recreational opportunities played a key role in stakeholders wanting to remain engaged in a specific community. The process of using focus groups and community assessments engaged partnerships to begin a community development process. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests strategies that communities can use to identify strengths and areas for development if communities want to create contexts to enable “boomers” and older adults to pursue civic engagement.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Program planning
Public health administration or related administration

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1. Describe how community partnerships can be used to help meet the needs of aging baby boomers in communities. 2. Describe at least two strategies that can be used to help build partnerships with a vision to build communities.

Keywords: Community Planning, Rural Communities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conceptualized the research and carried it out. I also have over a dozen years of experience in building academic/community partnerships and linkages in various capacities both domestically and internationally.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.