We are pleased to announce our partnership with the Tufts Health Plan Foundation in launching our newest project: Waltham Connections for Healthier Aging! The Waltham Connections program was born from Brandeis University Professor Walter Leutz’s 2015 study using community-based participatory action research to understand and improve healthy aging in Waltham. Along with recruiting and training senior volunteer co-researchers, conducting agency interviews and focus groups, writing reports, Leutz also helped create a senior/agency Steering Group which ultimately created this initiative. The theme of “connections” is at the heart of our work in trying to connect seniors to one another and create a more age-friendly city.
Waltham Connections focuses on community and civic engagement to build on the knowledge
and dreams of local seniors and agencies. Following the World Health Organization’s Healthy Aging model, the Steering Group will lead several working groups focusing on issues ranging from social participation, communication & information, inclusion, and in-home services. The healthy aging movement looks at how seniors can live both physically and socially active lives, and also maintain a healthy diet, and get regular access to health care and support services.
With this initiative, we strive to promote and include lower income, homebound, minority and immigrant seniors in healthy aging. To reach these communities, we are working with agency and senior representatives from these populations to participate in our Work Groups to aid in designing age-friendly programs and policies to benefit all Waltham seniors. We strive to reduce the disparities arising from language, class, and disability.
Agencies we are working with include: Waltham Council on Aging and Housing Authority, Neighbors Who Care, the YMCA, JF&CS, the League of Women Voters, Brandeis University, Mt. Auburn and Newton-Wellesley Hospitals, Springwell, the City of Waltham, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary. With this partnership, we hope to improve access to supports and services, health and wellness, social participation, better coordination of in-home services, and provide a forum for seniors to have a greater voice in determining needed changes that affect their livelihood.
We are excited to share more healthy aging events as they develop over the course of this project and beyond. We look forward to this endeavor and hope you will join us in making Waltham an example for age-friendly cities. To get involved with this project, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.