Healthy Aging Martha's Vineyard
HAMV is committed to making the Island of Martha’s Vineyard age-friendly. We support a wide range of community and organization-based efforts that enrich the lives of elders and their families, and we conduct planning and advocacy that highlight and address issues in healthcare, transportation, housing, and caregiver support.
- Housing: With MV Hospital and the MV Commission, HAMV developed plans for a Greenhouse model nursing home, including beds for those with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease. HAMV works to address affordable workforce housing, safe home features that allow older adults to remain in their homes instead of moving to an assisted living facility, home-sharing, and the production of nursing homes and other assisted living options.
- Transportation: HAMV supports the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) to establish and enhance transportation options for island elders, especially for off-island medical travel needs
- Advance Care Planning: In collaboration with the MV Hospital, HAMV is developing an island-wide collaboration involving local and regional partners to create a long-term initiative that addresses the lack of patients at MV Hospital with health care proxies and advance care directives. We will offer training programs to educate facilitators as well as a substantial number of island adults aged 18+ about advance care planning; will provide resources and will significantly increase the number of adults on Martha’s Vineyard who have had important conversations with their families, talked with their doctors, assigned a healthcare proxy, and have taken filed the documents necessary to guide their medical and end-of-life care.
- Falls Prevention: HAMV leads the Falls Prevention Coalition’s work toward community education and outreach, working with MV Hospital to procure better data on follow-ups and visits to the emergency room. HAMV and the Coalition are establishing priorities for home safety assessments; coordinating home assessments; establishing a method by which future assessments take place across the island; assisting with the coordination and execution of home modifications by establishing relationships with local tradesmen; assisting the COAs in the identification of elders who need home modifications; and partnering with local pharmacists to promote medication reviews to reduce the number of falls and increase safety in the home.
- Senior Safety: With the Councils on Aging and the Center for Living, HAMV promotes “Safe Seniors” community education, a visual presentation designed to educate and train community members to recognize and assist elders in need. EMTs, merchants/retailers, banks, basic service providers, transportation professionals (cab, ferry and bus drivers), and restaurant staff are trained to identify words and behaviors that indicate an older adult needs support; the training includes ways to interact with the senior to bring about the best possible outcome, and provides resources and directives for follow-up.
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