In the Spotlight
By Meagan Smith, Heller MPP Candidate, class of 2017
Waltham agencies are working together to make Waltham more age-friendly with our project “Waltham Connections for Healthy Aging,” sponsored by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. Healthy Waltham has created a blog series entitled “Spotlight” to highlight the twelve organizations involved in the Waltham Connections program. We hope this information is both fun and informative, allowing you to learn more about your community and get involved. Our first interview is with Marybeth Duffy, Director of the Council on Aging. The Waltham Council on Aging is a government agency working to improve the quality of life of local seniors aged 60 and older along with their families and caregivers.
Why did your agency want to join in this initiative with Healthy Waltham to promote an age-friendly community? Why is healthy aging important to your agency? How do you see Waltham continuing to grow as an age-friendly city in the years to come?
Promoting an age-friendly community is a huge priority for the CoA since we are the “go-to” for all things aging related here in Waltham. Brandeis University’s Professor Walter Leutz led a community-based participatory action research study in 2015 to better understand healthy aging in our community. During his study, Dr. Leutz conducted focus groups here at CoA for his research. We see more individuals aware and involved with promoting an age-friendly community since the start of this study and hope that as this work continues more people will pay attention.
What are your agency’s current events, particularly in regards to healthy aging efforts in Waltham?
The CoA has teamed with Healthy Waltham’s Chef Reva to offer a healthy eating series targeted for seniors. Chef Reva provides an educational cooking demonstration and fun for all because we know that food helps build community and is important to overall health. We have many other programs for seniors as well. We hope seniors will register with us and take advantage of all we have to offer. Our monthly newsletter is available here on the City website and also posted around town.
What is the most unique project or event your agency is taking on in the Waltham Connections program?
A subcommittee on information and communication has developed in hopes to better streamline information and access. At the heart of the CoA, information and referral services allow seniors to keep their independence and age in place in their home and community among loved ones.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about your agency?
The CoA is not only a great resource for family members and caregivers of seniors here in Waltham but also provides services onsite.
To learn more, come into the CoA at 488 Main St. Monday through Friday from 8:30AM-4:30PM. Or call us at 781-899-7228. We hope to see you soon!