Merrimack Valley Elder Partners

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Southern New Hampshire University
As stated in the thesis project, "My project was to generate a series of issues forums for people over 60 in the Merrimack Valley. The mission of the group I worked with, Elder Partners of the Merrimack Valley, is to "organize and empower elders in the Merrimack Valley so that they can advocate for themselves to improve services and conditions". The process was to survey various elder providers (housing authorities, family service agencies, visiting nurse associations, Councils on Aging) to get a sense of what the elder network feels are important issues. The group then held a series of "community speak-outs" with elders throughout the Merrimack Valley. These were held in elder housings using peer facilitators. Issues generated from these two sources shaped the focus of the legislative forums. The first forum held was with state representatives, the next with national representative and a third with state representatives again (in a different district of the valley). The focus of these events was to gather together elder constituents with change makers. The underlying purpose of the project continues to be to create informed, empowered and organized advocates. My role in these activities has been to work as facilitator of the planning meetings, and provide administrative resources." (Library-derived description)