Older adults everywhere say they want to maintain their independence and age in place, but it can be especially difficult in rural areas, where more than 7.5 million people over the age of 65 live, often with little access to formal supports, health care, services, transportation, and appropriate housing.
Creating a Sustainable Network for the Rural Aging Movement
To accelerate and expand an emerging drive to improve the experience of rural aging, GIA is leading a new three-year program, “Creating a Sustainable Network for the Rural Aging Movement.”
Supported by a $350,000 grant from the Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the initiative seeks to connect and support key players concerned with rural aging, share knowledge, and expand the resources and services available to older adults in rural areas.
Rural Aging Resources for Funders
This section includes background information targeted to the needs and interests of funders:
- GIA-authored case studies of innovative grant-funded rural aging programs, on transportation, community-sourced food and firewood donations, and technology;
- A one-page introduction to partnering with government agencies;
- Issue-specific resource pages on numerous topics important to rural aging;
- A one-page overview of the program; and
- A press release announcing the program launch, in December 2015.
Specific project activities will include:
- Building an infrastructure to bring together key representatives in the rural aging movement, including face-to-face and virtual meetings.
- Identifying the most useful information and materials on rural aging that are already available, identifying gaps, and creating and sharing new resources as needed.
- Establishing a broad-based, partners-in-funding group comprised of government, civic organizations, United Ways, Area Agencies on Aging, philanthropy, and other key players.
- Launching a “Rural Aging in America” website and associated Learning Community, and adding briefing materials on rural aging to GIA’s own website.
- Producing a short video and several infographics on the challenges and important work being done in rural aging.
- Developing a messaging tool, “Talking about Rural Aging,” to share messages and strategies that have been effective in raising the profile of rural aging.