Age Wave's approach toward community change seeks equitable individual outcomes and removal of structural barriers so that quality of life is improved — now and in the future — throughout our region. Age Wave disrupts current structures, lifts people’s power and voices, and embraces elderhood. Today we promote longevity opportunity through the following achievement targets and goals:
(1) Achievement targets/goals: Older adults, family members, and service providers will learn new health and wellness skills for themselves and the people for whom they care.
Last year's results: Using the Social Isolation Risk Index findings, analysis of local support resources, and cultivated interest from county leadership, the project team from VCU Gerontology and Senior Connections selected Charles City to launch a pilot PCA School (see page 9).
Our Longevity U courses reached 477 participants. Participants strongly agreed that their skills and knowledge improved. Our Financial Health course for elders post- evaluations show 93% successfully strengthened awareness, knowledge, and skills.
(2) Achievement targets/goals: Older adults in communities of focus will identify an increased connection to neighbors and service providers.
Last year's results: An Age Wave-led project team received City Council recognition for our Green Park Garden at Home, Grow with Your Neighbors project, the impact of which has resulted in:
- Increased service provision
- Empowered elder advocates
- Pro-bono fresh fruit and vegetable planting and growing
- Increased connectedness and increased genuine caring between neighbors
- Increased intergenerational relationship building
(3) Achievement targets/goals: Service providers will attain the knowledge, skills, and abilities to effectively serve older adults. Age Wave is working to support a person-centered, trauma-informed provider force who are able to share resources across sectors. We're also working to enhance services through refined protocol, No Wrong Door expansion, and data analysis.
Last year's results: Age Wave co-launched and provided educational sessions for 80-member East End Coalition for Older Adults related to: team-building, racial equity tools, and person-centered trauma-informed approaches. From EEC, Age Wave launched a collaborative partnership with homelessness services to effect change across service sectors, including a professional training series. So far, 65% of respondents reported training successfully connected them to professionals outside their traditional network, and 88% reported a learning of professional value to their role.
In addition, the majority of the Age Wave Leadership network reported our programming successfully changed their feelings about aging. Age Wave also presented advocacy messaging to 738 leaders and policy makers, developed coursework for four graduate courses at VCU Gerontology, and a Department of Social Services training curriculum.
In one year, No Wrong Door saw a 72% increase in CRIA electronic referrals; 2,410 clients served; and seven new partners added. Age Wave continues to advocate for No Wrong Door expansion, including as part of our housing stability efforts.