Key Takeaways

  • Town hall style conversations held at senior centers can have an important and lasting impact on the health of people in the community.

  • Among the tips from previous senior center town halls: Plan ahead, involve a diverse audience, and actively seek out older adult panelists.

  • Our toolkit developed as part of an NCOA/ASA RISE project outlines best practices for senior centers to host community discussions that empower older adults.

Town hall style meetings hosted by senior centers and other organizations can give voice to the very community members who can benefit from knowledge and tools to improve healthy behaviors.

But sometimes it can be tough to know where to start. That's where a roadmap of best practices can come in handy.

The "Talking Health and Health Disparities" toolkit is one result of a partnership with the American Society on Aging (ASA) that brought four teams of ASA RISE fellows, all of them professionals of color, to four senior centers:

The toolkit outlines best practices and support in hopes that more senior centers host town hall conversations so they can learn their community’s views on health care, chronic disease management, and obesity care, said Dorothea Vafiadis, Senior Director of NCOA's Center for Healthy Aging.

“Our goal is to empower all senior centers to elevate health-promoting activities and break down inequities facing the community, helping to make a real difference in the lives of older adults,” Vafiadis said.

Check out the toolkit and download the sample event flyer when you're ready to promote your own town hall event.

This project was supported by funding from Novo Nordisk.