Northern New England is at the leading edge of an unprecedented opportunity facing our nation and globe. We have outlived our systems and need to reimagine how to live in community together—to build communities for all ages. We can increase our collaborative impact and pool our limited resources through shared learning.
A particular challenge is our retiring health care and direct care workforce at a time when older residents are more in need of both. Many of our workers are also informal caregivers who are struggling to provide care with fewer available community supports while maintaining employment. This demographic “perfect storm” has significant implications both for the region’s economic growth and our ability to meet the needs of older residents as they age in place.
The good news is that communities, organizations and businesses around our region have developed and deployed innovative strategies across communities and settings to help older adults thrive in their homes and communities.
TSLC aims to:
- encourage naturally occurring community responses to the needs of older residents, older workers and family caregivers
- prevent programs from remaining fragmented and created in isolation
- provide support and a catalog of promising models already in use elsewhere—in both northern New England and nationally
- create a forum for people working on these issues to share ideas and tools or get technical assistance.
Given the magnitude of our current situation and the existence of community and business leaders who are already working to find and implement solutions that address these challenges, we have created a Learning Collaborative that shares information, connects communities, and fosters new partnerships.
The Tri-State Learning Collaborative on Aging (TSLC)
supports, strengthens and cultivates current community-based initiatives and systemic best practices that help older adults thrive in their homes and communities. The TSLC also encourages the growth of new initiatives and practices by building new connections and partnerships across sectors, communities and states.
The TSLC does this by:
- sharing information on successful strategies
- creating learning opportunities for community, municipal, policy and business leaders who are working to address issues facing older adults and their communities across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont
- facilitate issue-specific cross-border conversations that connect communities to increase collaboration and partnerships across the region
The work of the TSLC will help:
- inform public policy
- change attitudes about aging, and
- increase knowledge among providers, advocates and policy makers.