Partnership History

In 1989, a consortium of agencies and individuals came together and formed Broome County Aging Futures Partnership. The task of this group has been to provide an ongoing assessment of geriatric service needs and the subsequent identification of gaps in long term care and supportive services. Members of the Aging Futures Partnership include representatives from government, hospitals, home health care agencies, mental health providers, nursing homes, educational institutions, consumer advocacy groups, politicians, social service agencies, and others.

During 1993, the Partnership coordinated the first Aging Futures project, a telephone survey of 1,420 seniors residing throughout Broome County. This survey served as a catalyst for community action. The findings of this survey were used to determine and address areas of need as well as to obtain funding for developing service options to meet those needs.

As a result of the Aging Futures effort, specific improvements in Broome County's long term care and supportive services delivery systems were accomplished. These include:

  • Expanding health and transportation services in rural Broome County through a program joining resources of the Rural Health Network, the Broome County Office for Aging, and the United Way of Broome County, Inc.
  • The Broome County Council of Churches' Neighborhood Interfaith Volunteer Caregiver Program expanded their volunteer shopping, housekeeping, transportation, and friendly visitor programs to rural regions.
  • The local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association developed a caregiver respite program.
  • The First Ward Action Council created and began operating a home repair program for older adults with low and moderate incomes.
  • Broome County Office for Aging and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program partnered on a wide range of wellness and prevention programs focusing on those chronic health conditions most prevalent in Broome County's senior population (i.e., arthritis, diabetes, heart disease).
  • The Broome County Office for Aging constructed senior centers in two rural areas of the county to improve service delivery to underserved populations. As a result of these accomplishments, in 2002 the Aging Futures Partnership received a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant under the Community Partnerships for OlderAdults initiative. This grant provided funds to engage in planning efforts designed to strengthen and sustain the comprehensive long-term care and supportive services system in order to meet the growing needs of vulnerable older adults. This initiative specifically targeted improvements in long term care that are more responsive to the needs of consumers and that provide those consumers with a broader range of options and a greater degree of choice.

To improve the long term care system and make it more responsive to the needs of consumers, the Partnership coordinated an 18 month planning effort, using a variety of methods, that focused on consumer input. This research gave the partnership the information it needed to develop strategies to address needs of functionally limited elders and their caregivers.

The Aging Futures Partnership has successfully developed relationships that have built upon mutual respect and understanding about each member's priorities, methods, and constraints thus contributing to the planning effort's success. In 2003, the Partnership members represented a distinctive collaboration of consumers, and public, private, and educational organizations in Broome County. Members recognize that sharing information, data and collaboration is in their best interest. The Partnership believes that decisions should be driven by consumer-identified needs.

The Partnership's long-range plan is to continuously move to higher levels of collaboration. Integration of strategies for financial and organizational sustainability is expected as the Partnership evolves to the point where members are willing to assume the risk of pooling and jointly securing resources and sharing the results and rewards. It is anticipated that the initiatives will foster systemic change, influencing local agencies to better meet the needs of our older adults.