Oneida County Livable Communities Project Moves Forward

Coordinator Named, Survey and Forums Announced

Oneida County’s Livable Communities Project continues to move forward with today’s announcement of the hiring of a project coordinator, the release of two community-wide needs assessment surveys and a series of upcoming stakeholder forums.

Oneida County’s Office for the Aging/Continuing Care partnered with the Parkway Center and The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties to launch the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, and late last year, began the planning phase of the initiative which will address the needs of the community’s elder population.

“Oneida County recognizes the importance of encouraging and promoting age-friendly planning and policies to enhance the lives of older adults in our community,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “I applaud the dedicated efforts of OFA Director Mike Romano and all of the partners involved in implementing this essential project and I am happy to hear that progress is being made toward that goal.”

Jordan Bellassai was recently hired as the coordinator of the Oneida County Livable Communities Project and two community-wide needs assessment surveys have been developed and are ready for distribution.

Public forums are also scheduled to take place on the following dates:

• Oct. 18 at 10 a.m., New Hartford Adult Dining & Activity Center, 1 Sherman Street, New Hartford.

• Oct. 22 at 11 a.m., the Parkway Center, 220 Memorial Parkway, Utica.

• Oct. 27 at 10 a.m., Ava Dorfman Senior Center, 305 East Locust Street, Rome.

The World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities began as an international effort to help communities prepare for a growing aging population. AARP established an agreement with the World Health Organization to identify communities for membership and launch the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.

The initiative focuses on areas such as housing, caregiving, community engagement, volunteering, social inclusion and combating isolation among older citizens.

The local project was made possible due to a grant from The Community Foundation, which will help to meet the mission of ensuring that Oneida County is an age-friendly, livable community.

“Identifying programs and services that allow our aging population to remain living independently is essential to becoming an age-friendly community,” said Jan Squadrito, Senior Community Investment Manager at The Community Foundation. “Guided by data, The Community Foundation is better able to direct its investments to programs that best serve the needs of seniors.”

The success of the project will come from the broad collaborations of elected officials, community leaders, citizens, businesses, colleges and nonprofit organizations, but most importantly older adults living in Oneida County.

These partners are working together to identify what is currently being done to address needs in the community as well as needs that are going unmet.

“We are excited to be a part of this collaboration as it will improve the lives of not only older adults, but of residents of all ages,” said Kelly Walters, Executive Director of the Parkway Center said.

To take the consumer survey, click here