Building Bridges Part I: Creating a Foundation for AMP in Your Community
As many of us embark on our Aging Mastery Program® (AMP) journey, we often ask ourselves how best to spread the word about this exciting and revitalizing program, where to host AMP, and how to partner with others in the community.
For me, offering a new community program is like building a bridge: It needs a solid foundation as well as great connections to hold all of the parts together. The strong foundation begins with a team that includes program management, development, and marketing. This team provides both individual and organizational buy-in. If your organization doesn’t have in-house leadership in these areas, go out into your community. Schedule meetings with community agencies, civic leaders, and other program coordinators who have a vested interest in supporting quality programming for older adults in the community.
Depending on the size of your community or service area, introducing AMP in a local senior or community center makes sense. However, if your area doesn’t have one of these centers, take the next step. Identify locations where individuals can meet and make sure these locations are age-friendly with ample and accessible parking.
Potential program sites might include municipal buildings, banks, faith communities, and schools. Perhaps there is a health care center, hospital, or public health department that would welcome the opportunity to contribute resources that benefit its community. Many of these businesses and organizations can provide other tangible benefits, such as providing assistance with marketing, community “expert” presenters, refreshments, financial support, and more.
As you build and expand your bridge to a successful AMP, other individuals and groups will hear about it and want to learn more about the program. They will be interested in exchanging ideas with you about the ways that they can support this experience for older adults.
Our Area Agency on Aging in Tucson has recently partnered with a faith community to serve as a venue for AMP. In my next post, I’ll let you know how and why we set up that partnership.