The Culture Change Network (CCAN WNC) of Western North Carolina is dedicated to educating the community about fundamental changes in values and practices to create a culture of aging that is life-affirming, satisfying and meaningful.
The committee advocates for culture change across a spectrum of services within a variety of living environments in Buncombe, Henderson, Madison and Transylvania Counties.
To advance these goals, CCAN WNC supports education in the community and collaboration with service providers in order to empower individuals and advance public policy changes and practices.
By Linda Giltz, CCAN Coordinator (Published December 22, 2016)
This time of year we notice and celebrate the amazing earth that continues to turn and provide us with so many things, and the great holidays of some of our religions. It is also a time to reflect on the past and think about what we want in the future.
CCAN has accomplished a lot over the past 6.5 years – forming partnerships between individuals and organizations across a broad spectrum of services and expertise and delivering information, workshops and classes on topics related to “aging in community.” It has evolved over the years, responding to expressed needs, ideas from group members and feedback from workshop/class participants – and balancing these with the capacity of the primarily-volunteer group to deliver quality products. The workshops and classes at Land of Sky and UNCA’s OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) have been very successful and helped many people explore and figure out how and in what type of home and community they want live in as they age.
The partnerships with Land of Sky Regional Council, Buncombe County, Council on Aging, AARP, UNCA’s OLLI, R.L. Mace Universal Design Institute, Asheville Village Links, the YMCA of WNC, and others have been fulfilling and important groundwork to enable the larger community to address aging in community and other related issues. CCAN has also been a catalyst for new projects that are growing in our community – e.g., neighbor-to-neighbor communications about forming closer, supportive communities in their neighborhoods and an organization to support this (Asheville Village Links); an AARP-sponsored project, Livable Homes for a Lifetime, to work on creating more homes that are designed for all ages and abilities; and a systematic approach to access resources for health and well-being (“continuing care at home”). Many organizations throughout the community are working on pieces of this “puzzle” that will enable more people to stay in their homes as they grow older.
We have been discussing CCAN’s possible futures at the last couple CCAN meetings. Funding from Buncombe County as part of implementing the County Aging Plan that was partially supporting the group ends this month, so we have been discussing various ways the group could continue. At the November meeting we agreed to affiliate with AARP. The group liked this idea because of the name recognition, strength of the organization, support available and access to more volunteers and professionals with similar interests. AARP has a strong focus on Livable Communities and Age-Friendly Communities and this is a good fit for doing culture change and aging in community projects and advocacy. Some CCAN members are already volunteering with AARP and finding ways to work on issues that are important to them.
There are a number of ways you can stay involved in education, outreach, advocacy and culture change work, and also stay connected with others who share your interests and passions. A few of them are:
There are many ways to work on the culture change issues we face. I hope you will continue working towards the changes that are needed to help us all age successfully in our communities. We will continue to have more and more elders in our communities who want affordable and accessible housing and community choices and new ways for services to be accessed and delivered.
If you would like to stay in touch with others who have been involved in CCAN, let me know and also try to attend a celebratory gathering at City Bakery on Charlotte Street, on January 11th at 2:00 p.m.
I am very grateful for the friendships I have made and the things I have learned and all the people I have met through CCAN. I hope to stay in touch with many of you and continue to work on important and inspiring projects.
Best wishes to all!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Rebecca Chaplin, at email@example.com, about any AARP questions and to become a volunteer with AARP.
Join us for our Culture Change in Aging Networking meeting on the third Wednesday of every month, except July, from 10:00 to 11:30 am at Land of Sky Regional Council (339 New Leicester Hwy, Suite 140, Asheville 28806).
Bill Thomas “Age of Disruption” Tour comes to Charlotte on April 20th. Learn more here.