Current Initiatives

FEAST: Folks of Every Age Sharing a Table

FEAST is an initiative of UNC’s Partnerships in Aging Program. We are creating an intentional space where people of different generations can learn from one another and cultivate age-embracing perspectives.  Each month, dinner party guests include UNC students from different disciplines, faculty, older adult volunteers, and community leaders in aging. FEAST believes in the power of intergenerational connections and the joyful wisdom that comes from sharing a table.

On the evening of April 25, 2018, eight men and women, ranging in age from 22 all the way up to 87 years old attended the inaugural FEAST dinner party.

Partnerships in Aging Consortium Think Tank (PACTT)

On March 28, 2019, the UNC Partnerships in Aging facilitated an inaugural Think Tank to form a consortium around ongoing aging-related work and interests that bridge university and community efforts. The event brought together 32 campus-community partners over dinner to discuss current and future initiatives. With the goals of deepening conversation about existing projects and spurring action toward the creation of new aging-related initiatives, the result of the evening’s work was a set of priorities that PiAP will work to support in the coming year in alignment with our strategic plan. For a summary of the priority initiatives for 2019-2020 and the complete PACTT report, please click here.

Dr. Jenny Womack guides conversation among partners from UNC and the community to identify strategic initiatives related to partnerships and older adults for the upcoming years.

Orange County Master Aging Plan

Orange County Department on Aging has completed the planning and begun implementation of the 2017-2022 Master Aging Plan.  The Partnerships in Aging program is providing consultation and technical assistance to this initiative.  The cornerstone of the Master Aging Plan is broad-based citizen input.  During public meetings held in July and August 2016, at 13 locations around the County, we heard from over 60 people. An electronic survey was distributed to people of all ages throughout the County, and Janice Tyler, Director of the Department on Aging, conducted multiple interviews with County leaders and stakeholders.

To advance the Master Aging Plan process, Orange County has become the first North Carolina county to join AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. As such, we are now part of a nation-wide effort to transform our neighborhoods and communities into age-friendly places. Never in modern history have we lived this long. Orange County is already a great place to age, but we can make it even better. We want to continue to develop new models in all areas, including how we live, how we die, and how we connect with each other on a daily basis. Key domains of interest in the Plan include:  Housing, Transportation, Community Services and Health, Employment, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, and Communication Pathways.

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An example of an elder friendly neighborhood equipped with accessible housing and green space.

Orange County Senior Housing Report

Click here to view the report in PDF form.

As part of the 2017-2022 Master Aging Plan, Orange County aims to ensure an array of housing options that reflects the diverse preferences and abilities of our older adult population. To accomplish this aim, the Orange County Department on Aging and UNC’s Partnerships in Aging Program have collaborated to: 1) conduct an inventory of current and future senior designated housing, 2) engage in research to understand the types, prevalence, costs, and availability of housing currently available in the County and 3) survey Orange County seniors to understand their housing preferences. As part of the 2017-2022 Master Aging Plan, Orange County aims to ensure an array of housing options that reflects the diverse preferences and abilities of our older adult population. To accomplish this aim, the Orange County Department on Aging and UNC’s Partnerships in Aging Program have collaborated to: 1) conduct an inventory of current and future senior designated housing, 2) engage in research to understand the types, prevalence, costs, and availability of housing currently available in the County and 3) survey Orange County seniors to understand their housing preferences.”

Linking Generations in Northside (LINK)

The Linking Generations in Northside Program is a collaboration between the Marian Cheek Jackson Center and PiAP.  It serves to connect UNC students from various disciplines with older residents in the Northside community. Students form teams, connected to fellows of the Northside Residential Fellowship program, to visit residents’ homes where they can share, learn, and grow together in a mutual partnership of social support. The Jackson Center and PiAP provide mentorship to facilitate visits.

The LINK program functions in partnership with the Northside Residential Fellowship program. This program creates a living-learning household focused on aging and health equity. Northside residents and UNC graduate students are charged to learn from each other and perhaps become good neighbors in the process.  Research demonstrates the important role social connections play in the health and well-being of individuals. We aspire to create a space for graduate students to become active members of the Northside community and re-establish a multi-generational neighborhood where all residents feel supported.

UNC Students speak with Northside Residents during LINK

Northside fellows recently hosted their first “Porch Revival Tour Pop-Up.”

Aging in Community: The Story of Crescent Magnolia

Eight graduate students in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill will partner with PiAP and Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to document the process of building the Crescent Magnolia community. Crescent Magnolia is a community developed by Habitat that offers affordable home ownership options for adults 60 and older.  It is the first initiative of its kind by Habitat in the United States, and consists of 24 small-scale attached homes embedded in the edge of an existing neighborhood in Hillsborough NC.  In order to understand the impact of Crescent Magnolia in the lives of the residents as well as on the surrounding community, students will explore processes of community building, transitioning into new homes, and developing a neighborhood.   In particular, the students will explore various aspects of the built environment and the interaction between the physical structures, which have been designed with aging-in-place principles, and the older adults who buy them. In addition, they will explore everyday occupations of the residents and how they are shaped by a new environment, as well as the impact of the community on the surrounding neighborhood and partners in the project. The ultimate targeted outcome of the project is the development and dissemination of a resource toolkit for other affordable housing providers who might consider similar senior housing solutions. Learn more about Crescent Magnolia…

Crescent Magnolia Design and Location

The Conscious Aging Bookshelf

The Conscious Aging Bookshelf is a partnership between PiAP, Second Journey, and the Orange County Department on Aging. This collection of books, articles, and movies explores the idea of aging with an ethic of mindfulness, service, and community. Works include poetry and non-fiction, practical advice for strengthening communities, and guidance for those embarking on an internal journey of conscious eldering. Donated by Bolton Anthony in 2019, the Bookshelf is a living resource for those seeking a path that defies cultural stereotypes and brings about a new aging narrative.

The Bookshelf is comprised of hard copy books available through the Seymour Center front desk and a collection of digital articles originally published by Bolton Anthony as the journal Itineraries. To access Itineraries click here.

Interprofessional Education in Geriatrics

Over 235 UNC students from 10 health disciplines (nursing, medicine, social work, dentistry, dental hygienist, pharmacy, PT, OT, nutrition, and speech and language pathology) work in teams to explore complex social and medical issues common to older adults.  Along the way, students learn about each their classmates’ educational preparation, typical practice environments, and dispel common myths and stereotypes about aging.

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Students from different disciplines participating in care planning for an older patient.

Aging in Community: Planning for Our Future Series

Led by Orange County’s Department on Aging with support from the Partnerships in Aging Program, Aging in Community is a series of community conversations about key issues related to transportation and housing for older adults.  Since 2012, we have hosted community events to learn about and discuss topics such as budgeting in later life, innovations in senior housing, and becoming a creative genius (again!).

Community members discuss long term care

Community members discuss long term care.

Fighting Ageism:  Be Bold, Claim Old Campaign

The project, led by Amy Gorely, Vice President of Strategy and Outreach at Carolina Meadows, challenges ageist views of youth as the gold standard.  The campaign suggests that we all get to decide how “old” is valued.  It starts with accepting and celebrating every age.  UNC’s  Partnerships in Aging Program is collaborating to advance and disseminate the campaign.  Be Bold, Claim Old was launched in a two minute TED-inspired talk. The campaign aims to spark a new way of thinking about aging. To learn more about the Be Bold Claim Old campaign, click here. To watch a short video presentation about the Be Bold, Claim Old Campaign, click here.

Be Bold Claim Old Program Director Amy Gorely

Amy Gorely, Program Director of the Be Bold, Claim Old Campaign.


 

Past Initiatives

Long Term Care Collaborative

Led by Orange County’s Department on Aging, community advocates, and the Partnerships in Aging Program, seven long term care organizations participated in a year long effort to improve the quality of their care.  The final theme was “The Comfort Zone” and focused on palliative care and everyday joys for clients and staff.  At the end of the year, participating organizations were eligible for a Quality Service Award and were recognized by the the Board of County Commissioners.

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Orange County Long Term Care leaders goofing around at a recent meeting of the Collaborative.

Living Long Lives

Photographer Chris Richman explored the passion and vibrancy of living a long life. What do we do with passion and meaning? How do we address abilities that have become diminished? How do people of different ages perceive the aging experience?  The photographic exhibit was displayed in Fall 2016. UNC students from Comparative Literature assisted Chris with the narrative to support her photographs.

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Photographer Chris Richman

Courage Cocktail Radio Series: Long Lives Long View

Partnerships in Aging enjoyed working with the Courage Cocktail Radio Hour. Producer and host Lee Ann McClymont created a five-part radio series broadcasting over WCOM LPFM, Chapel Hill/Carrboro, NC, which featured five, hour-long radio shows examining current experiences in aging in Orange County through the lens of innovators, academics, volunteers, and artists. The series featured live interviews with guests of differing backgrounds all of whom share a common interest in leading vibrant and productive lives throughout the entire course of their lifespans. Click here for a description of each episode plus links to the podcasts.

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Producer and host Lee Ann McClymont