Friday, July 20, 2012

Collaboration in the Aging Community

Last week VisionLink had the pleasure of attending the N4A “Answers on Aging” Annual Conference & Tradeshow in our neighboring city of Denver. While we went in expecting to learn about current themes, best practices, and challenges in the world of elderly care, we left with a strong inspiring sense of the collaboration taking place in this small yet passionate community.

One such collaboration discussed was a housing initiative in San Francisco known as the Services Connection Program. Anne Hinton (San Francisco Dept. of Aging & Adult Services) & Jennifer Sinnott (NCPHS) shared how this partnership with the SFHA helped not only improve services offered to residents in a housing project in San Francisco, but also created a community where once none existed. This amazing collaboration resulted in 97% resident participation rate in the various wellness programs provided.

Other collaborations presented included a community response effort to elderly abuse (Boulder County Area Agency on Aging & NCALL), partnerships improving volunteer opportunities helping aging citizens, and various health care & AAA alliances. Members from the Battle Creek Region 3B AAA shared what makes their healthcare collaboration successful:
 
  • High level of trust and respect among all players 
  • High temperance for change and chaos 
  • Willingness to take risks 
  • A short yet stern Memorandum of Agreement 
  • Regulation 
  • Some contribution of financial assets among all players 
  • Honesty about needs & goals among all players 
  • Patience & the knowing that a pay-off will eventually come!
When paired with a shared vision, these suggestions can help your organization form valuable partnerships as well.

Collaboration is a key principle in our strategic advantage beliefs, as well as our overall vision as an organization. It brings us great joy to see so many organizations in the aging community using this key method to help more people more effectively & we look forward to hearing about new collaborations in the future!



Georgina Douglas
Marketing Associate
VisionLink