Community Conversations and n4a Grant
Following the 2010 Summit, Dr. Martín Carcasson, director of the CSU Center for Public Delib- eration, was asked to conduct a number of community forums to both inform and solicit input from community members about issues concerning local seniors. Working with the Fort Collins and Loveland Senior Advisory Boards and the Fort Collins Senior Center, Dr. Carcasson and his students facilitated discussions on a range of topics regarding growing older in Larimer County. After the first year of conversations, the Senior Transportation Coalition was formed to address an issue that consistently rose to the top of areas of concern.
In May of 2013 the first meeting of what was to become the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities was held to explore ways to take all the information rising from these various conversations and surveys and put it into action. In August 2013 FOA and LCOA applied for and were awarded a one year Livable Communities technical assistance grant from the n4a. Larimer County was one of six communities across the country to receive this grant. These communities would be supporting each other under the guidance of n4a to identify local priori- ties, engage local stakeholders, establish realistic goals and actionable objectives, and to re- cruit teams of skilled volunteers from the 50+ age cohort to develop and implement specific short term goal-oriented projects. The grant provided PAFC with an established, structured process for moving forward with its mission.
By December 2013 PAFC had chosen four priority areas that had emerged from previous events, community conversations and surveys as those most in need of attention to achieve more livable Larimer County communities:
Mobility: Older residents of Larimer County will have access to key services and quality of life opportunities.
Health and Wellness: Older residents of Larimer County can enjoy optimal emotional, physical and spiritual health.
Culture of Aging: Older residents of Larimer County will benefit from our communities’ positive attitudes, values and behaviors with regard to aging.
Housing: Older residents of Larimer County will have housing options sufficient to meet their needs.