Indiana University


…the original partners:

The Center for Home Care Policy and Research of the VNS of New York created the AdvantAge Initiative in 1999, with funding from multiple local and national foundations Center Director Penny Feldman conceived of a project that would enable communities to measure how “elder-friendly” they might be and then use that data to promote community improvement. Mia Oberlink signed on as Manager for the project.

Phil Stafford, of The Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University, joined the project in its earliest phase as a co-researcher, consultant, and community development resource.

In the first several years, the project partners developed a comprehensive survey tool, measuring 33 indicators of an elder—friendly community, and worked with ten US communities, large and small, to conduct the survey and develop community-based planning initiatives that would improve communities for an aging population.

Since the original ten, many other communities have come “on board” to conduct the survey and develop their own planning projects.

In 2004, Atlantic Philanthropies funded a national sampling survey using the AI tool and providing national benchmarks for those communities that wanted a comparative perspective on their local situations.

…the Indiana AdvantAge Initiative projects:

In 2006, the first statewide scaling of the AdvantAge Initiative began in Indiana, with funding from the US Administration on Aging, the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration Division of Aging, and the Center on Aging and Community.

Signing on as valuable partners for the Indiana project was the Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Self-Advocates of Indiana.

The Indiana project is the first statewide version of the national AdvantAge Initiative project, begun in 2000 and conducted in nearly 30 cities around the US.

…other Indiana partners...

In 2007, the Indiana Partnerships project entered into an agreement to collaborate with the Communities for Life initiative, funded by FSSA and managed by the Center for Aging and Community at the University of Indianapolis. This project supports community planning and development in its most local form, through “naturally occurring retirement communities”, or Neighborhood NORCs.

Also in 2007, in order to conduct the most comprehensive survey possible, the project was further underwritten by the Daniels Fund, of Denver, Colorado and Lilly Endowment, Inc., of Indianapolis.

In 2008, Indiana Grantmakers Alliance joined the effort to educate philanthropy about aging issues in Indiana with funding from the national Grantmakers in Aging EngAgement Initiative.

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Project Leadership

Phil Stafford, Director, Center on Aging and Community, Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Indiana University (Project Manager)

Jacqueline Cissell, Project Coordinator, Division of Aging, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

And more…

In the past year, the steering committee has grown to include too many members to count. Professionals from each of Indiana’s 16 planning and service areas (Agencies on Aging) are now involved in quarterly steering committee teleconferences, as are colleagues participating in the statewide Communities for Life project funded by the state Division of Aging and coordinated by the University of Indianapolis Center for Aging and Community.

Our Funding Partners:

U.S. Administration on Aging

The AoA has supported this project in a three year planning demonstration grant, 2006-2008. Indiana is one of eight states demonstrating new approaches to community and statewide planning to address changing demographics.

Indiana Division of Family and Social Services: The Division of Aging
As the planning grantee, the state unit on aging has played a key role in assessing how planning models will be incorporated into future state plans on aging. The Division has also provided funding for the statewide survey.

Indiana Association of Area Agencies on Aging
Indiana’s “Triple A’s” have provided significant funding for the conducting of the comprehensive statewide survey.

Indiana University’s Center of Excellence in Disabilities: The Center on Aging and Community, and Indiana Institute on Disability and Community
The Center provided leadership for bringing the project to Indiana and provides ongoing management of project research, professional development and community activities throughout Indiana. Indiana University has provided cost-share to the project in the form of staffing.

Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Lilly has provided key support on a timely basis, enabling the distribution of small grants to 16 planning and service areas to underwrite public participation activities.

Daniels Fund, Denver, Colorado
Daniels is invested in the national impact of this project and, hence, has supported the survey process and will continue to support the development of the planning model for replication in other states and localities.

Grantmakers in Aging
The Indiana Grantmakers Alliance, a regional organization of funders in Indiana, has secured additional funding to add value to the partnership, through awareness building about aging within the sizeable Indiana philanthropic community of private, family, and community foundations.

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