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Solo Agers

Solo Agers are older adults that are making decisions about their future independently. People who are not married/partnered and don’t have children find themselves uniquely situated in a world where many legal and social conventions favor more traditional notions of “family”. PiAP has gathered a group of seven community members, most of whom identify as solo agers, to explore the unique legal, health, financial, and social issues of living life while flying solo. We want to know how many people in our area consider themselves to be solo agers. We are examining what leaving a legacy means when assets aren’t passed down to family. We are talking about the importance of nurturing relationships and creating families of choice. Our goal is to offer community events to bring solo agers together to learn from “experts” and from each other. We created a Solo Agers fact sheet and compiled multiple resources to educate others about Solo Agers. Click here to learn more!

The Story of Crescent Magnolia: Senior Affordable Housing

Under the direction of Jenny Womack, Ph.D., MA, OTR/L, SCDCM, eight graduate students in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill partnered 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 homeownership options for adults 60 and older.  It was 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 explored processes of community building, transitioning into new homes, and developing a neighborhood. In particular, the students explored 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 explored the 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. We are pleased to share the outcome of students’ efforts in the form of a resource manual for housing providers to foster the development of senior housing in an affordable homeownership model CRESCENT MAGNOLIA RESOURCE REPORT 2021. To learn more, visit the OC Habitat for Humanity site.

Crescent Magnolia Design and Location

COVID-19 Planning Tool

If you should get COVID-19, Who will notify your family and friends? Where is the spare key to your home? Who would take care of your pets?  Who would communicate with your doctors if you needed to go to the hospital?  We invite you to answer these questions, and more, on this COVID Emergency Plan and Serious Illness Plan (fillable pdf) form and post it on your refrigerator.  This guide is especially useful for the 42% of Orange County seniors 60+ who live alone.

The End of Life Senior Resource Team of the Orange County Department on Aging encourages you to use this time to plan for emergency situations and to talk with your loved ones about your wishes should you become seriously ill. Choose a friend, family member, or other trusted person to make medical decisions on your behalf if you can’t speak for yourself. Make sure the person you choose knows what is important to you.  If you don’t tell them, they won’t know!

Check out the Emergency Plan and Serious Illness Plan documents now. DON’T WAIT!


Partnerships in Aging Consortium Think Tank (PACTT) Report

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

The Master Aging Plan (MAP) is a five-year plan that provides comprehensive and coordinated delivery of community services and supports that foster lifelong community engagement and well-being for older adults in Orange County. The Department on Aging created its first MAP in 2002 and each new MAP continues to evolve to meet the needs, expectations, and contributions of our growing aging population.  The Plan was developed with input from older residents of Orange County, community leaders from a wide array of sectors, UNC students, and the Department on Aging staff.  Key domains of action include Housing, Transportation, Employment and Civic Engagement, Social Participation and Inclusion, Outdoor Spaces, and Community Supports – Health Services. Click here to view a copy of the 2017-2022 Plan

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


2021 Orange County Senior Housing Guide

The Orange County Department on Aging and UNC Partnerships in Aging Program are excited to share the Orange County 2021 Senior Housing Guide. This guide offers a focused view of senior designated housing and other resources in Orange County, NC to inform older adults, families, caregivers, and organizations of the options currently available.  Click to access 2021 Senior Housing Guide – Orange County

In this edition, some highlights include:

  • The first owner-occupied senior-designated apartment complex in the county from Habitat for Humanity of Orange County
  • A new type of senior-designated housing – Senior Apartments with Services
  • A lens of racial equity added to the guide


2018 Orange County Senior Housing Report

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.”

Click here to view the report in PDF form.


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.