Incorporating local governments, academics, businesses, philanthropic, non-profit organizations, and consumers in a coordinated effort to get a region or state “age ready” is important for planners nationwide. Age planning preparation will require advocacy and cooperation from every sector of community life. Started in 2007, the Older Dominion Partnership (ODP), which is funded from donations from foundations and corporations, not government, has quickly emerged as a prime example of how age planning can be effective when all interested parties work in unison. The purpose of the organization is to encourage and support local efforts to plan for the coming age wave.
The ODP resource center offers access to 51 resources for planners that cover: civic & community engagement, finances, health & well-being, housing, transportation & mobility, and workforce. Each topic area is sub-divided by category for ease of navigation, containing an array of information and resources. One caveat: the resource center has not been updated since 2010, so it does not include all the latest resources.
Other website highlights include:
- The Older Dominion Partnership Resource Center is a robust source of information for community planners around the country, and includes a collection of regional plans within Virginia.
- The website itself has an up-to-date news section on progress and policies related to age wave initiatives and planning efforts. This includes a YouTube channel and emphases like the Older Virginians Month (May).
- A full listing of ODP partners is provided, along with the five workgroups to which they contribute: Board, Civic Engagement, Community Readiness, Shared Database, Financial Readiness and Health & Long-term Care. The ODP site has also made joining the partnership an online process, so that increasing numbers of local organizations can participate. This can help other community planners determine the types of organizations to include, as well as, the types of work groups that make for effective collaboration in their own regions.
How to Use
The Older Dominion Partnership website informs planners and leaders around the country what sectors of society should come together in designing unified efforts for local age planning. Preparing for an older Virginia requires input by all facets – governments, businesses, educators, and more. Seeing how to bring these facets together cohesively will help planners and leaders in their own localities.