Seniors Count Expanding to Portsmouth and Nashua
With the aging of the state’s population and the emphasis on community living for all persons with disabilities, communities must adjust their policies and procedures to assure a high quality of life and participation for all residents. Building strong community partnerships at the local level is key to making lasting improvements in access to community services. New Hampshire has experienced success in working with local communities to address the support needs of all residents. These efforts are exemplified by initiatives such as Seniors Count of Manchester, which is a model of community collaboration established to convene a partnership that serves as a catalyst for outreach and action to redefine and ensure independence for older residents, and in doing so, creates a better life for all.
In June 2008, the IOD sent out a request for proposals which announced the Community Partnership to Support Older Adults program, an initiative that would provide funding—$25,000 per year for two years—for two New Hampshire communities desiring to establish a community partnership based on the Seniors Count of Manchester model. The IOD is pleased to announce that Compass Care of Portsmouth and Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc., of Nashua are the recipients of funding for this program and will be coordinating the establishment of collaborative partnerships in their respective communities.
In order to better tailor the services that they will provide over the course of the next two years, both communities will be conducting needs assessments of their older adult populations. Similar to successful practices from Seniors Count of Manchester, both partnerships have plans to hire Community Liaisons who will reach out to older adults in the community and develop collaborative relationships with other service providers and community organizations. Both communities also plan to establish flexible spending pools for community members to access in order to support older adults.
“This work is premised on the belief that communities are key partners in long term support reform, and that if people are to remain at home and in the community, communities must be welcoming, accessible, and supportive for all residents,” said Susan Fox, Institute on Disability Project Director. “We are very pleased to be able to support these two communities to replicate the successes experienced by Seniors Count in Manchester.”
For more information on Seniors Count, visit www.seniorscountnh.org.