Indiana University

Into the Streets: Senior Centers as Agents for Change

September 2015

Philip Stafford and Jennie Todd will present a workshop titled "Into the Streets: Senior Centers as Agents for Change Towards Lifetime Communities" at the SEEK 2015 Conference in Columbus, Indiana. The conference focuses on strategies and skills needed to help citizens age well, and takes place September 20-22 at the Mill Race Center. Stafford is director of the Center on Aging and Community at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community where Todd is employed as a research associate.

As the communities for a lifetime movement grows, senior centers are well positioned to play a leading edge role in community change. With a “cast of thousands” holding special insights into the quality of the built environment, centers can be catalysts for change. This workshop, with examples, will focus on specific roles that centers can play in the movement. The session will include a formal presentation on concepts associated with communities for a lifetime, provide examples of methods senior centers can employ to engage members in community study and advocacy, and foster audience deliberation around the development of center-led collaborations with key stakeholders of all ages and abilities.

Philip Stafford, Ph.D. is a cultural anthropologist, working in the field of aging and community for nearly 40 years. He is a national leader in the communities for a lifetime movement. His most recent book is Elderburbia: Aging with a Sense of Place in America. He has spoken and/or consulted on the topic in nearly 50 American communities and with international audiences.

Jennie Todd, BSW has worked in the field of disabilities for over 30 years and currently provides comprehensive leadership training in advocacy for livable communities with elders and adults with disabilities. She has conducted extensive training and research on the topic of community membership and integration for people with disabilities.

SEEK 2015 is the national conference for the National Institute of Senior Centers. It is also open to anyone who is interested in aging well and serving the senior population. Whether building infrastructure and communities that are “senior-friendly” or advocating for increased services and support for an aging population, the 2015 conference will present actionable strategies for professionals and community members to use to make their communities a better place for their aging populations to live, work and play.

Visit the conference website >