RAND Study Funded to Examine How Local Health Departments Can Leverage Age-Friendly Cities Initiatives to Build Resilience in Senior Populations

Critical gaps remain in addressing the needs of the rapidly growing US population of older adults (age 60+); however, Age Friendly Initiatives (AFIs), including Senior Villages (SV) represent a promising strategy for U.S. communities and cities to support older adults aging in place and potentially build community resilience. The RAND Corporation received funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct a study of AFIs/SVs, in partnership with the AARP Public Policy Institute, NACCHO, the District of Columbia Department of Health, and the Age Friendly Initiative of the District of Columbia Department of Aging. This mixed methods study will provide insight into where current AFIs and community resilience efforts align, how AFIs and SVs are working with local health departments, and what the impact of AFIs/SVs has been on resilience outcomes of seniors (e.g., social connectedness, attention to health needs, disaster preparedness).

Based on the study findings, a toolkit will be developed to help local health departments identify the need for AFIs, evaluate and monitor AFIs ability to improve resilience, and develop effective and efficient partnerships with AFIs to across the U.S. to build community resilience. The study will, for the first time, quantify the contribution that AFIs and SVs have made to improving resilience outcomes for older adults and provide guidance to local health departments for improving their engagement with AFIs/SVs. For more information, contact the study principal investigator Joie Acosta at jacosta@rand.org or (703) 413-1100 x5324.

About Laura Biesiadecki

Laura Biesiadecki is the Director of Strategic Partnerships, Outreach and Education for the Preparedness Team at NACCHO. In this role, she is oversees programmatic communications, academic-practice partnerships, and education and training activities.

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