Preparing Indiana for the aging population

December 12, 2013

The convergence of community revitalization and planning for Indiana’s aging population took a big step forward on Dec. 11 when a broad group of 60 leaders from across the state met to learn about trends and best practices that could be emulated here.

The event was a milestone for a joint project of PPI, the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance and the IU Center on Aging and Community.

Policy Analyst John Marron [view his bio] is PPI’s point person on the project that’s helping raise awareness of how an aging population will change what Hoosiers demand from their communities, so that these communities can prepare to meet the needs of current and future residents

The project, now in its second year, is part of a national age-friendly initiative called Community AGEnda, convened by Grantmakers in Aging with funding from Pfizer. Its goal is to help communities become great places to grow up and to grow old. Funding for the project comes from the Pfizer Foundation. Indiana is one of only five communities – and the only state – to receive a grant for accelerating their age-friendly work.

Next steps include reconvening the 60 community leaders to discuss the potential for incorporating age- and ability-friendly concepts into existing plans, as well as pursuing official designations for becoming age-friendly communities.

The Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority hosted the Dec. 11 event.

PPI’s involvement in this project, and the lessons learned will advance the knowledge base for these efforts throughout the state across the country. Marron already has presented the work at the International Age-Friendly Cities conference convened by the World Health Organization, and at the annual Grantmakers in Aging Conference. Marron has also presented this work to local philanthropic groups throughout Indiana as part of the Indiana Grantmakers Alliance Fall Forums and to aspiring design professionals at the Ball State University College of Architecture and Planning Alumni Symposium.