NEWSLETTER                            January-February 2018

Partner Spotlight: It Takes a Village

Volunteer driver Tony Allen, left, walks Judith Litchman, right, to his car. (Photo by Susan E. Bouchard)

Neighbors Helping Neighbors 

Lois and Preston Atwood, married for 71 years, share a laugh with Linda Ciolfi, a volunteer driver, as they head to an East Providence salon for haircuts before Lois' 94th birthday party.
Across town, Marilyn Roberts puts out a plate of cookies and pours some sarsaparilla into a glass for volunteer Peter Viner-Brown before he gets to work assembling her new couch.
Nan Levine and her friend Judith Litchman chat easily in the entrance way of the Providence Art Club while they wait for a ride home from a small luncheon with friends.
The threads tying these active older adults together are part of the rich tapestry they became part of when they joined the Providence Village. 
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Rhode Island College Foundation Receives Two-Year Grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation 

The Rhode Island College Foundation has been awarded a $252,400 two-year grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. This funding will continue Age-Friendly Rhode Island's work building a powerful community coalition with innovative solutions as well as developing new programs and services.

The Age-Friendly RI Coalition is dedicated to meeting the needs and preferences of Rhode Islanders as they age. Modeled after the WHO and AARP age-friendly frameworks, the work of the Coalition will continue to be organized around 9 key areas, also referred to as domains, that have been identified as being the most vital to Rhode Islanders. Work in each of these domains is underway, led by volunteer group leaders and committee members from across the state. 

In 2018, the Coalition will be working hard to broaden its outreach and expand its impact through innovative partnerships and collaboration.

Newly-hired Executive Director Jody Shue will spearhead continued support for the volunteer-led working groups, and will strengthen the multi-channel communication platforms to help elevate and catalyze the conversation about age-friendly communities.
Age-Friendly RI will continue advocacy work, policy improvements and pursuing active partnerships with municipal leaders.
                                                             Jody Shue 

Marianne Raimondo, Associate Professor and Lead Investigator for the grant said, "It has been exciting to be part of the growing momentum and enthusiasm to build an Age-Friendly Rhode Island," she continues, "We look forward to growing our coalition and working with communities, providers, advocates, business leaders and government agencies to build a state that furthers the health and well being of older Rhode Islanders."
The Coalition is growing. Join us

This week's guests Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee, at left, and Author Dan Buettner. (Submitted photos)

Age-Friendly RI Turns to the Airwaves
Local and National Guests Discuss Age-Related Topics 

Joining forces with the Patricia Raskin Show Age-Friendly RI is increasing awareness about key issues facing older adults by reaching new audiences. 

The series features both local and national guests with expertise in all aspects of aging.
Tune in to this week's program on Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee will be discussing his role as Chair of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, which works to preserve the quality of life for seniors in Rhode Island. The Council develops and coordinates policies, including the Alzheimer’s RI State Plan. Also on Saturday's show Raskin will speak with Dan Buettner, a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author. He has discovered the five places in the world - dubbed “Blue Zones” - where people live the longest and are healthiest. He travels the world seeking out new Blue Zones and speaks at seminars and television shows such as Ted Talks, The Today Show and Good Morning America. He will discuss the locations and habits that lead to a happy and healthy lifestyle.

In recent weeks, the show has featured Age-Friendly RI coalition partners discussing a range of state-wide topics. On last week’s show Kathy McKeon, Supervisor of Catholic Social Services of Rhode Island, discussed supports to remain at home, aging in place and adapting homes to accommodate changes that occur with aging. The previous week, Brenda Clement, Director of HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University, discussed housing, community development issues and affordable options to help older adults safely age in the community.

National guests have discussed topics ranging from memory care, age-related stress and caring for elderly parents. Dr. Daniel Amen, author of Memory Rescue, offered advice on ways to improve brain health, enhance your memory, and reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s or age-related mental illnesses. 
Emmy and Golden Globe winner Jane Seymour discussed her new book, The Road Ahead: Inspirational Stories of Open Hearts and Minds. How we handle life’s challenges—from medical crises to broken hearts to career failures—can define us as we face the road ahead.

The show airs live on select Saturday afternoons from 3 to 4 on WPRO 630AM and 99.7FM or listen anytime to one of the previous shows.
Listen Here
Home Modification Grants Available
Apply Now, Work Must Be Completed by Late June
The Livable Home Modification Program issues grants that pay up to 50% of the cost of home modification to improve accessibility for Rhode Islanders that are disabled or who age into disability. 

This funding was earmarked by the Rhode Island General Assembly to allow people to make their homes and apartments more accessible, and to remove barriers that interfere with their ability to remain safe and living independently. 

According to John DiTomasso, Associate State Director/Advocacy for AARP, this is a great program because it can really help people stay in their homes. Wheel chair ramps, walk-in or roll-in showers are just a few of the modifications that can help someone safely remain in their home and in their community. Small, but sometimes costly repairs can be the deciding factor of whether someone can continue to live independently. These grants can improve the lives and reduce the financial burden on homeowners, renters and caregivers. All Rhode Islanders benefit when helping older adults remain living safely at home. Even the state benefits with reduced spending on Medicaid for unecessary nursing home stays.

Any income-eligible resident with a disability who demonstrates need can retrofit, or hire someone to retrofit an existing residence, shall be eligible for a livable home modification grant of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount spent, not to exceed $5,000. The retrofitting must meet specific criteria, and requires an assessment be conducted prior to the application date. 

All work must be completed by the end of the state's fiscal year June 30, 2018. This grant program is administered by the Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, and applications are being accepted now.

The application may be found by clicking the RI Livable Home Modification Application link:
The full regulations are found at:

Chronic Disease Self-Management Program
Mini-Grant Funding Available 

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) Chronic Disease Self-Management Education Program is offering mini grants to community-based organizations to train internal staff in the Chronic Disease Self-Management Program and the Chronic Pain Self-Management Program.

The mini grants will fund two internal staff from the applicant’s organization to be trained in both programs and will cover stipends for the newly-trained leaders to host 3 workshops by July 31, 2019. The mini grant will also cover staff time for marketing, recruitment, and data collection.

The application is due by March 9, 2018. For more information and instructions for applying, please see the Request for Proposals:


Upcoming Age-Friendly Events

Seniors: Show Our Strength! The Senior Agenda Coalition presents a legislative forum with Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Senate President Dominick Ruggerio
When: Tuesday, March 6, 2018, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.
Where: The Crowne Plaza Grand Ballroom in Warwick, R.I.Admission is free. 
To register or call 401.351.6710.

LeadingAge RI 2018 Conference and Trade Show 
This year's theme is Life On Purpose.
When: Thursday, March 29, 2018
Where: The Crowne Plaza in Warwick, R.I.
For more information:

12th Annual Thewlis 2018 Lecture at the University of Rhode Island
When:  Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Where:  Edwards Auditorium on the URI Campus in Kingston R.I.
The Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center and Program in Gerontology will be hosting the 12th Annual Thewlis Lecture featuring CEO Marc Freedman from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. in Edwards Auditorium on the URI campus in Kingston, R.I. Freeman is one of the nation’s leading experts on the longevity revolution and will speak about aging issues. 
To register:

26th Annual Gerontology Conference at Rhode Island College
Social Relationships in Later Life Mini-Conference
When:  Wednesday, April 18, 2018 
Where:  Alger Hall, Room 110 on the RIC Campus in Providence, R.I.

The level of our connections with other humans has a profound influence on adding years to our lives and life to our years and will be explored at the 26th Annual Gerontology Conference at Rhode Island College. The documentary The Age of Love which follows the adventures of 70-90 year old participants in a speed dating event, will be shown.  Following the screening, two consecutive workshop sessions enable participants to learn about the nature of long-term relationships among older couples, examine approaches to talking about sex, and understand civic engagement, its benefits, and local programs that promote intergenerational bonds.

Workshops topics will include: "Dynamics of Long-Term Relationships in Couples and Intergenerational Families", "Navigating relationships and sex in older adults" and "The Value of Civic Engagement & Intergenerational Connections for Older Adults" 
Registration is not required.
For more information: email Rachel Filinson 

Alzheimer's Caregivers Journey Conference
Save the Date! More details to come
When: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Where: The Crowne Plaza in Warwick, R.I.

This conference is for both caregivers and professionals who dedicate their lives to caring for people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia is truly a labor of love.  Workshops will be offered throughout the day that provide caregivers and professionals with the tools to carry on their journey of caring and supporting persons with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias. The conference will feature lectures from renowned experts in the field and various breakout sessions that provide modern educational tools geared toward carrying out the best practices of providing care for those who live with these unique diagnoses.  
For more information:

Do you have an upcoming event you would like us to mention in the Upcoming Age-Friendly RI Events? Send an email to

February Issue:
The Gray Wave 

The February issue of Rhode Island Monthly features an aging-related article entitled The Gray Wave. 
City-state reporter Ellen Liberman looks to answer the question 'Are we Offering the right services to our independent-minded elders?' Many of the experts she speaks to are active within our Coalition. If you don't already subscribe, pick up a copy, it is an interesting read.
Stay up-to-date and in touch by visiting our website 
and connect with us here on Facebook and Twitter
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