Age-Friendly Olmsted County releases action plan for 2022-2025.
Age-Friendly Olmsted County (AFOC) Community Assessment Report and 2022-2025 Action Plan comprised of the previously released assessment report and the recently completed 2022-2025 Action Plan.
The Age-Friendly Olmsted County Community Assessment Findings Report research report is based on an analysis of local, regional, state, and national data and a review of key county and municipal reports and planning documents. Among these sources are an age-friendly survey and focus groups of older Olmsted County residents conducted by In the City for Good.
The Community Assessment report includes nine key findings:
1. Housing is a fundamental and pressing issue that sets the stage for nearly everything else.
2. Transportation can empower us or hinder us.
3. Community information: You cannot use a service if you do not know about it.
4. Preventable health conditions are impacting quality of life and need for services.
5. People must be safe (and feel safe).
6. Public spaces—both buildings and outdoors—must be truly accessible.
7. Older adults are a critical part of the workforce and local economy.
8. Greenspace, trails, parks, and connection to nature should be basic—not bonus.
9. Access to important services and amenities is uneven.
These findings served as the basis for the development a three-year action plan.
Following the release of the assessment report, the AFOC planning committee convened to establish priorities and goals for attention in 2022-2025. In addition to the 20 plus regular participants of the committee, a stakeholder group of over 80 public officials, organizations, and individuals throughout Olmsted County followed the process.
The committee was co-chaired by Alan Hansen, retired from IBM, and April Sutor, Director of Innovation and Collaboration at Family Service Rochester (FSR), the AFOC lead agency.
The 2022-2025 Action Plan sets forth three action areas with eight associated goals:
1. Action Area I: Age-Friendly Community Supports and Health Services
a. Goal #1: Increase availability of affordable Home and Community Based Services (HCBS)
b. Goal #2: Dementia Navigator
c. Goal #3: Develop cross-sector, holistic, culturally appropriate dementia informed approach to care
2. Action Area II: Aging in Place Readiness Planning
a. Goal #4: Effective tools & protocols are available for identified providers and individuals
b. Goal #5: Education on Aging in Place is widely available and utilized
3. Action Area III: Age-Friendly Community Engagement
a. Goal #6: Ensure concerns of older adults inform public planning and policy
b. Goal #7: Extend age-friendly network participation in Olmsted County
c. Goal #8: Address age-based barriers to opportunity and acces
The completed report was shared with the Olmsted County Health, Housing, and Human Services Committee. The report was then filed with the AARP National Age-Friendly Network of States and Communities and the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.
With the release of the report, the AFOC age-friendly community process moves into an implementation phase. In some important respects, the implementation action plan is already under way.
AFOC advocated for the accessory dwelling unit (ADU) provisions of the recently adopted Rochester Unified Development Code. The group will continue to support ADU development throughout Olmsted County.
FSR recently completed a community co-design project regarding aging in place service needs of rural and BIPOC older adults in Olmsted and Rice Counties funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
Currently FSR is in conversation with state officials and legislators concerning challenges presented by state funding practices for aging in place home and community-based services.
Though AFOC has begun some significant work, they will soon be launching the implementation phase of the age-friendly network process. This phase will bring together organizations and individuals to pursue the action area goals. As with the previous phases, it is important that older adults and their lived experience are fully present in the work.
Persons, businesses, organizations, and groups interested in joining the age-friendly efforts in Olmsted County should contact Age-Friendly Olmsted County at firstname.lastname@example.org.