FOCUS Wisdom Keeper Oren Lyons at the 2014 Blue Rain Ecofest in Hanover Square.
AGE FRIENDLY COMMUNITIES WORK FOR ALL
Age is not required for being a Wisdom Keeper, but it helps. Recipients of the FOCUS Wisdom Keeper award such as Oren Lyons and Chuckie Holstein can attest to the value of staying active. As FOCUS Greater Syracuse highlights 20 community achievements to marks its 20th year, one of the goals set back in 1998 was maintaining a community that encouraged independence in aging.
FOCUS has supported many efforts along that line including the 2014 report on Shaping an Age Friendly Central New York that can be found on the FOCUS web site. One finding from that study is the recognition that a community that is accessible and welcoming to elders appeals to people of all ages. FOCUS volunteers meet in a work group each month to further age-friendly strategies. FOCUS’s CNYCAN health effort brings together patients, caregivers, health professional and researchers to draft research proposals on health issues of most concern to patients and caregivers. Since FOCUS took up the goal in 1998 other organizations have joined the effort. Some of the FOCUS work has been supported by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute and by the Health Foundation of Western & Central New York.
The Health Foundation and New York State AARP paired up for a statewide conference on Livable Communities in Syracuse Aug. 1, 2 and 3, 2018. In January, New York gained distinction as AARP’s first statewide Livable Community, and with some effort perhaps we can get the national conference here in Syracuse soon.
The age-friendly work of FOCUS over the years has been supported by the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, Central New York Community Foundation, Key Bank, Darco Manufacturing, and the Reisman Foundation.
These 20 highlights are just a glimpse of how far we have come since the 1998 community vision sessions set 87 goals. See what can be done and has been done, not necessarily by FOCUS, but by Forging Our Community’s United Strength. To learn more about the 87 Goals and the 20 highlighted go to www.focussyracuse.org/about.