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After a steering committee, representing all areas of Chatham, held three community forums in November 2017 to hear from Chatham residents of all ages, Chatham now has an Aging Plan! The purpose of these forums was to enable Chatham residents to voice their views and ideas to help the Committee select five priority areas that will provide the structure for the Aging Plan. The Aging Plan is expected to complement PlanChatham, the county’s comprehensive plan.
Who's Behind the Aging Plan Effort?
Leading this effort is a Steering Committee composed of a diverse group of community leaders from across Chatham. At their first meeting, the Committee helped chart the course of the Aging Plan by developing a 20-year vision and guiding principles that was shared at the three Community Forums.
The Capstone Team
A team of five master’s level students from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health helped the Council on Aging and others develop this plan.
(Pictured left to right): Hanaleah Hoberman, Stephanie Tepperberg, Allison Balmes, Liz Cassidy and Ashley Schultz.
Our vision is a Chatham County that offers older adults, and all residents, a safe, affordable, accessible, and inclusive community that promotes wellness, presents and respects choices, values diversity, recognizes and uses people’s strengths, and supports individuals aging in community with dignity.
What's Next?The community picked areas of importance and work groups were formed to discuss objectives. These are the top 5:
2. Healthcare services and coverage
4. Social connectedness, community engagement, and
opportunities for self-fulfillment
5. Care services and caregiving.
One major goal of the Council this summer (2019) is rolling out the new Community Ambassador Program. Building off the incredible work done by last summer’s intern, Hilary Pollan, Bria Berry, a second-year graduate student in public health at UNC-Chapel Hill will be facilitating the recruitment and selection of the initial class of ambassadors who will represent the diverse populations of older adults and serve as a link between communities, the Council, and its partners. These ambassadors will also undergo an orientation on July 25th at the Western Chatham Senior Center followed by an 8-session training and graduation ceremony in the fall that will prepare them to identify and address unmet needs of older adults, their families, and caregivers. Once complete with training, ambassadors will serve older adults in the community by participating in the implementation of the 2018-2023 Chatham Aging Plan and county-wide projects.
Throughout the month of June Bria will be spreading the word about the Community Ambassador Program by passing out recruitment packets consisting of a flyer, opportunity description, and brief application form, meeting stakeholders and engaging with members of the Chatham community. If you or anyone you know would be interested in becoming an ambassador, or have questions about the programcontact Bria at Bria.Berry@chathamcoa.org or at (919) 542-4512. Please feel free to take one of our recruitment packets that are located in the lobby of the Eastern and Western Chatham Senior Centers.