Overview

Building communities that are responsive to the needs of older people is essential if our society is to remain relevant and responsive to this growing population. Responsive societies rely on the contributions of everyone; older people are an asset and contribute their experience and knowledge to our communities. Tufts Health Plan Foundation will make investments that promote healthy living across the life span with an emphasis on older people. We will move communities toward achieving age-friendly policies and practices that are relevant, focus on under-represented communities and include older people in the process.

We will build on experiences and what we've learned from community organizations during the pandemic:

  • Systemic inequities cause health disparities
  • Access to nutritious food is critical; it was the #1 priority during the pandemic
  • Older people and communities of color were disproportionately affected by the pandemic
  • Collaboration is a protective factor for communities experiencing crises
Healthy Living, Healthy Aging

Healthy aging begins at birth—it is a lifelong process shaped by individual and community-level factors, including the social determinants of health. The World Health Organization (WHO) framework of “active aging” through age-friendly cities is one model for healthy living. Age-friendly cities address issues that matter to older people, including access to community supports and health services, opportunities for civic participation and employment, and outdoor spaces and buildings that promote peace of mind and quality of life as people age. The Foundation will fund efforts that support community-level systems and policies.

Collaboration is Key

Systems and policy change require intentional coordination and collaboration among key stakeholders within networks in and outside of the field. This includes everyone within a community setting—community-based organizations, municipalities, health care providers, social service agencies, businesses and consumers, and importantly, users of programs and services. To effectively build healthy communities and age-friendly cities, organizations must be inclusive in their approach, maximizing resources to achieve better outcomes.

Under-Represented Communities

Not all communities have equal access to resources and supports. These inequities affect health and wellbeing, and disparities can become more pronounced as we age. Social isolation and lack of access to services create challenges to older people's ability to contribute to communities. They are threats to healthy outcomes. The Foundation prioritizes investments and innovations that bring needed supports to communities experiencing disparities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. These investments connect older people to key resources to support healthy aging.

What We Fund

Foundation grant programs include larger investments in three focus areas: Collaboration and Community Engagement, Policy and Advocacy, and Systems and Best Practices. The Momentum Fund provides smaller awards to support communities and organizations pursuing early-stage age- and dementia-friendly efforts.

Please note: Our website offers guidance on the types of efforts and activities the Foundation will fund. If you have questions about whether an idea aligns with our strategies, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will work with you.