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Forming a Community Based Network: A Handbook


One in three people will be age 65 or older in 2025. The Elderberry Institute produced this handbook as a resource for communities looking to become more involved in keeping senior residents in their homes for as long as possible as they age. The handbook highlights the potential of community members in providing services for older adults by creating a community based network.

Key Points

Forming a community-based network that coordinates local services and utilizes the skills and potential of all community members improves civic engagement and makes aging in place a viable option for older residents. The handbook identifies criteria for establishing community based networks, describes how to start a community based network, and outlines what services networks can provide to their community.

Other report highlights include:

  1. Living at Home/Block Nurse Program, this community based network utilizes the professional and volunteer services of local residents to help older residents maintain their independence by provide nursing, professional, social and support services to seniors who would otherwise require nursing facility care.
  2. The Community Criteria questionnaire provided in the handbook is a good starting point for communities looking for guidance on establishing community based networks.
  3. Community based networks can provide services like community educations programs to promote elderly nutrition and exercise information, friendly visiting and transportation services, caregiver support and respite care, and referral services, among other things.

How to Use

Community leaders and local officials can use this handbook to gain an understanding of the importance of community based networks and how to establish one in their community. The handbook offers detailed guidelines for creating an effective community based network that will improve senior lives in the community by making needed services more accessible and affordable.

View the full report: Forming a Community Based Network: A Handbook (PDF – 1.0 MB)

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