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    Ashoka US Fellow Timothy Carpenter on engAGEing Elder Communities

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    Tim Carpenter, founder and executive director of EngAGE, believes in the potential for continuing education and intellectual growth within senior living centers. EngAGE offers programs in arts, wellness and intergenerational contact in 15 senior apartment communities in southern California, reaching more than 2,000 people residing in low- and moderate-income housing. In his interview with Dowser, Carpenter discusses the importance of reviving the creative spirit of seniors and of integrating a business model with not-for-profit work.

    Excerpt from The Big Shift: A Roadmap to Innovation for an Aging Population

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    Editor's note: The following is adapted from Civic Ventures founder and 

    Kenji Hayashi is rejuvenating rural areas suffering from depopulation. By creating a new pathway for emerging urban professionals to build their careers as change agents in rural municipalities, Kenji is creating a system that enables the sustainable development of struggling rural communities.

    Anne Basting is transforming the experience of aging and the stigma around dementia and memory loss by empowering older adults and their caregivers with new practices rooted in creative expression and community building. Having demonstrated the impact at the individual level, her sights are now set on transforming institutions of care into cultural and community centers of creative expression and growth.

    For long dementia has been considered as normal process of aging. Not many people realized that in most cases it is caused by Alzheimer, a degenerative disease affecting the brain tissue. DY is creating a support system for people with dementia as well as building public awareness of warning signs.

    Cycling Without Age takes elderly nursing home residents, who tend to be socially excluded, back into the streets and allows them to be part of ongoing urban life. As the elderly passengers and younger cyclists co-create new experiences on trishaws, Cycling Without Age showcases the joy of intergenerational exchange to society.

    Ruth Gelehrter da Costa Lopes, a São Paulo social psychologist, has started Brazil's first public psychological clinic for the elderly, a burgeoning population ignored by Brazilian professionals and institutions.

    By teaching practical culinary and social skills, Simone Berti is preparing individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities to assimilate into society and be self-sufficient.

    Olivier-Hugues Terreault is preparing Brazilian society to be able to care for their growing elderly population. Through an innovative clowning therapy, he is equipping caregivers and seniors themselves with tools for communication, meanwhile his work with decision makers and the general population creates policies and social norms that will ensure seniors’ wellbeing in society.

    There are only 2,000 neurologists to deal with over a million aging people with cognitive diseases and no history of managed care in France, which leads to huge bottlenecks in the healthcare system and terrible social and psychological consequences for patients and their families.