The Maryland Community of Practice for Leaders of Villages and Aging in Community – works with leaders and innovators of dynamic programs for aging well in Maryland. We support leaders establish and maintain their passion for working on Aging in Community programs and resources.
Our Purpose: to provide support through a Community of Practice (CoP) for leaders and visionaries. Our participants are creating villages and similar aging in community programs that allow its members to live and age well in their communities with support and advocacy.
Models for aging are changing. Those that focus on larger institutionalized settings and using traditional social services and long term care models have been challenged to change as more community centered, consumer-led models emerged in the past 5-10 years. Many of the new older adults who are seekers for support are looking for responsive, community-based models that encourage independence and self determination. Many people seek flexible programs to age in their homes, in newly established Village models in neighborhoods, cities, counties or in co-housing, shared housing and other progressive approaches.
Following the Community Based living initiatives of thirty years ago and the Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC), Aging in Place, and Age Friendly Community Movements, the Village to Village Network, was one such a model where the first stakeholders were determined to have aging services ”their way” so that they could continue to live in their neighborhood enjoying all it had to offer. The initial prototype known as Beacon Hill in Boston, MA has grown into a national network of various neighborhood, city, community and county Village programs.
Maryland has produced many “villages” and other similar Aging in Community models like co-housing, tailored to meet the needs of communities. The Maryland CoP offers the leaders of these organizations new opportunities to:
- Create a Community of Practice and social network for empowered, intergenerational leaders who share values and can support each other in living and aging in community.
- Support the exchange of educational information for the leadership on how to implement plans for lifelong aging in community, develop models that are intergenerational, diverse, and confront “ageism” in services in both public and private sectors.
- Define what leadership and vision looks like in the new models for living in community. Work with empowered and experienced leaders to define what “best practices” are for leaders in these types of programs and how these practices can be replicated and shared among practitioners.
- Share information for leaders who can advocate for changes that create successful living in community.