The National Aging in Place Council® is a senior support network that connects service providers with elderly homeowners, their families, and caretakers. NAIPC® is developing a national network of Local Chapters, so that members can better serve our aging population. If you are interested in establishing a Local Chapter, there is a process you must follow.
Local Chapters operate under the jurisdiction of the national organization. Anyone who wishes to be part of a Local Chapter must be a member of NAIPC® . The Local Chapter has the option to charge supplemental dues to support local activities.
You must first determine if a Chapter already exists in your city, county or state. To find out, visit the Chapter site. If one exists, please complete the Chapter’s membership application. If there is no Chapter, and you’re interested in possibly starting one, please continue reading.
Building a Local Aging In Place Chapter
One of our goals at the National Aging in Place Council® is to encourage members to work with one another at the local level, so they can better serve the communities they work and live in. Members are encouraged to meet and learn about each other's businesses, to discuss aging issues and trends, and to network. Over time, a referral network is developed whereby members of the Local Chapter refer potential clients to each other.
To begin a Local Chapter, you must assemble 10 individuals to serve as charter members, all of whom must be NAIPC® members (please see 'Chapter Formation Petition' above). We will also contact other nearby members and notify them that a chapter is being formed.
Building a Chapter doesn't happen overnight. It can take a lot of time and effort to identify potential members, convene meetings, and get everybody in the same room talking to one another.
Paul Franklin, President of Franklin Funding, Inc., a reverse mortgage lender based in Charleston, SC, found a lot of support from the local medical community. "Located in Charleston is the Medical University of South Carolina, which has physicians, professors if you will, on staff who are interested in geriatrics," said Franklin.
South Carolina has a high concentration of stroke victims and a high rate of diabetes, so there's a lot of interest in serving the senior population from the medical community.
There are people in local government interested in aging in place as well. "In Charleston, we have the Mayor's Council on Aging, which includes professionals from home health care facilities, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities and adult daycare facilities, who are all natural allies," said Franklin.
"In essence, there are all these individual professions that touch the senior somewhere along the way, and by collaborating and coming together, they find that they can help a lot more seniors live more comfortable lives by getting multidimensional services from a number of different providers," said Peter Bell, President of the National Aging In Place Council. "What Paul has learned is that he's developing a big referral network of other people who are dealing with the same clientele he's trying to reach."
Although it's hard work at first, once a Chapter takes shape it "begins to take on a life of its own," said Franklin. Rather than shouldering the entire burden of running the Chapter, he said, it becomes easier to assign different tasks to other members.
Looking Through Your Rolodex
One of the best ways to start a Chapter from scratch is to contact the people you already know—home health care providers, durable medical goods manufacturers, geriatric care managers, case managers, and elder law attorneys. If you contact people you already know, and they jump at the opportunity to be a part of your Chapter, chances are they will contact their friends, and so on and so forth until you have a small group taking shape.
If you don't know anybody, one of the best places to start is your local Area Agency on Aging. AAAs were established in 1973 under the Older Americans Act (OAA) to respond to the needs of Americans aged 60 and over in every community.
There are currently 629 Area Agencies on Aging across the country that plan, coordinate and offer services that help older adults remain in their homes. Because they have an established network of senior service providers, AAAs can be a natural ally. The Area Agency on Aging may also be willing to donate space for your educational event.