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March 4, 2015

As the East grapples with a long, brutal winter (Boston just surpassed 100 inches of snow this season), many of us have been complaining of cabin fever — irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement. While that may be a throwaway line in casual conversation, for many people, being cut off from others is a serious problem.
A growing body of scientific evidence shows that social isolation is toxic at any age, but while older people are not necessarily the age group with the highest incidence of isolation (an AARP survey found the greatest number of adults who described themselves as "lonely" were in the 44 to 49 age group), the health risks that social isolation poses may be particularly severe for older adults.
GIA CEO John Feather recently examined the risks of social isolation, and some age-friendly solutions that are helping reduce it, in his blog for The Huffington Post. Read the full post here — and learn how the Beatles had something to say on the topic. 

Annual Conference News 
2014 Conference Highlights 
We’re pleased to announce that the Annual Conference Program Highlights from 2014 are now available. Just like last year, we have created an all-digital version of Highlights, to make summaries, notes, resources, PowerPoints, and other aspects of last year's great sessions easily accessible and searchable. We will not be creating a printed document, so be sure to visit this online resource to download materials from your favorite sessions or sessions you missed.
Many thanks to The SCAN Foundation, whose sponsorship helped make this online resource possible, and to a number of the 2014 GIA Fellows, who served as reporters and contributors to this report. Check out the Acknowledgements for a full list.

Call for Sessions Now Open
Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) is pleased to announce its Call for Sessions for our 2015 annual conference. The theme of this year’s conference — Soaring into the Future: Seeking New Horizons in Aging and Philanthropy — will explore how philanthropy can reach new heights and make an even greater contribution in the years ahead. The event will be held October 28-30 at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

GIA invites GIA Members, Affinity Groups, and Regional Associations of Grantmakers to submit proposals for concurrent sessions to be included in the program agenda. We invite you to help the national Program Planning Committee build a content rich program by submitting interactive, innovative session proposals.

For detailed instructions about how to submit a session, as well as a timeline of key deadlines related to the process, please visit the GIA website.

• The deadline for submissions is Wednesday April 1, 2015.

Should you have questions, please email Darla Minnich or call 937.681.5213.
Community AGEnda Update
Community AGEnda’s #GenTogether social media campaign has been a lot of fun, encouraging people of different generations to team up, take a "selfie" or any other photo together, and post it on social media. The contest portion of the campaign ended March 1 and judging has begun, but you can still participate by continuing to share your #GenTogether photos. By bringing people together and celebrating intergenerational friendship, #GenTogether creates opportunities to reduce loneliness, social isolation, and lifestyles siloed by age. Connect and share the moment. It might just make your day, and theirs.
Check out the latest #GenTogether selfies, read a nice AARP blog post about the campaign, and visit the GIA site to learn how you, your family and friends, or your organization can participate!

Funders for Age-Friendly Communities
Supported by the Pfizer Foundation and United Way Worldwide, the goal of GIA’s Funders for Age-Friendly Communities is to mobilize grantmakers across the country to create good places to grow older.
Wondering what to fund to bring lasting change that makes your community a better place to grow older? Join us for our next webinar:

Monday, April 13, 2015, 2:00-3:00 pm ET
Sustainable Changes to Make Your Community Age-Friendly: What’s Possible?

Representatives from GIA’s five Community AGEnda sites will describe how they have brought about permanent change to make specific aspects of their communities more age-friendly for many years to come. These achievements include improvements for older adults in transportation, accessible public parks with programming for older adults, and training for city councils and boards of aldermen that led to formal commitments to add an older adult lens to public policies and practices. All of the presenters’ organizations have funding from both local sources and Pfizer Foundation through GIA.

Presenters: Marie Beason of Indiana Grantmakers Alliance, Cathy Boyer-Shesol from Mid-America Regional Council in Kansas City, Kathryn Lawler from Atlanta Regional Commission, Amy St. Peter of Maricopa Association of Governments in Phoenix, and Peter Wood of Health Foundation of South Florida in Miami.

Moderator: John Feather, CEO of Grantmakers In Aging.

To register, watch for an email or contact us here.

Conversations with GIA
As we prepare our Conversations with GIA Webinar Series for 2015, please take a moment to complete a one-question survey to give us your input. We strive to provide you with a wide range of webinars on emerging issues in the aging field.
In the meantime, if you missed recent webinars in the series, you can still view screencasts of each:
Financing Innovation —The LeverAge Program and GIA's Partnership Role, a webinar detailing a new national financing program designed to assist in the expansion of affordable aging services, senior housing models, and emerging aging innovations. From December 17, 2014. Click here to view.

Aging and Mental Health, with Rush University Medical Center’s Robyn Golden, MA, LCSW (Director of Health and Aging) and Kate Krajci, MA, LCSW (Coordinator, Mental Health Services of Health and Aging), and Mary O’Donnell, Senior Program Officer at The Retirement Research Foundation. From November 10, 2014. Click here to view.
Member News
Health Foundation of South Florida Elects Loreen Chant as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors
Health Foundation of South Florida, a nonprofit dedicated to improving health through community investments for health promotion and preventive services, recently announced that Loreen Chant has been elected chairwoman of its Board of Directors. Chant, a recognized community leader, is president and CEO of Easter Seals South Florida, where she is leading and growing the organization as an outstanding provider of services for people with disabilities or special needs and their families. For more information, please call 305.374.7200 or visit the Foundation’s website.
The John A. Hartford Foundation Names New President
The John A. Hartford Foundation today announced that Terry Fulmer, PhD, RN, FAAN, University Distinguished Professor and Dean of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University, will become its new President. Dr. Fulmer, who is also Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in the College of Social Sciences and Humanities at Northeastern, succeeds Corinne H. Rieder, EdD, who has led the Foundation since 1997 and who announced her retirement last summer. Fulmer will officially join Hartford this May. Read the full press release on The Hartford Foundation’s website.
Community AGEnda Webinar
April 13
Details coming soon

2015 GIA Annual Conference
October 28-30, 2015
Washington, DC
“Financial Capability and Asset Holding in Later Life: A Life Course Perspective”
This new book, published by Oxford University Press, includes a chapter by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition concerning age-friendly banking. Available at major booksellers and online.
Toolkit: Housing and Health Partnerships
The LeadingAge Center for Housing Plus Services is pleased to announce its new Housing and Health Partnerships Toolkit, made possible through a grant from AARP Foundation. The toolkit provides resources and guidance to help providers of affordable senior housing and their health care partners work together to improve health, safety, and quality of life for housing residents, while reducing unnecessary use of health services and achieving cost savings. Access the toolkit.

Report: Gauging Aging: Mapping the Gaps Between Expert and Public Understandings of Aging in America
This report lays the groundwork for a larger effort to develop a new, evidence-based narrative around the process of aging in our country and the needs and contributions of older adults. By comparing experts' views to those of average Americans, the report details a set of communications challenges to efforts to elevate public support for policies and programs that promote the well-being of older adults. Read the report.

Essay: End-of-Life
Since learning he has terminal cancer, Oliver Sacks has had time to consider his life, and death. Read his New York Times essay
Social Networking
Social media is a great way to get your message out and to build interest in aging issues. Have you liked GIA’s Facebook page yet? If not, please do, by clicking here! We post a lot of news about GIA and our members there and it’s a great way to stay in touch. 

On Twitter, we’ve got more than 2,174 followers. We’d like to follow you on Twitter, and have you follow us, too, at

And don’t forget to connect with GIA on LinkedIn.

We encourage you to share this edition of Aging Matters on your social network, repost to your website, or provide a link to it.

Submit Your News, Events, and Story Ideas to Aging Matters
We’d like to help you spread the word about your own good work. Use these links to send us news items, upcoming events and webinars, or a new report or publication, or you can write to us at We will post your items at

Grantmakers In Aging
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Arlington, VA 22202
Phone 703.413.0413

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