The time has come. You have assessed the situation. You have raised awareness in the community. You have received local government approval. You may find yourselves asking, "What can we do? What action should we take? How do we choose? Can we actually do anything??"
Yes you can! But you need to use your logic and planning skills so that you don't waste your efforts. you will need to describe what needs to be done and plan the strategies to make it happen. You need to realistically assess the situation and note any blocks or problems.
It most certainly is time to get your allies involved.
ACTION PLANNING TIPS
- Make each action specific and clear. This one always requires planners to dig deep into their thinking as they list the action. Ask yourselves if you can see clearly how this will happen - what steps will be taken and who can take them. Check with someone outside your planning group to see if they understand the action the way you intended.
- Have community members take ownership of the actions. Name the individual, task group or organization that will take responsibility for implementation. Sharing ownership enables the whole community to be a part of the positive change about to happen.
- Identify actions that could have relatively easy and early success. Acting on one initiative and celebrating its success gets momentum going.
- Don't worry about the size of the initiative. Actions that seem small can be just as important as large initiatives involving many people. A number of small initiatives can add up to make a noticeable difference PLUS will involve people early.
- Identify short, medium and long-term priorities. Some actions will be relatively straight forward and others may require more coordination, human and financial resources. Age-Friendliness is not completed overnight. It really is a step-by-step journey. (While focusing on planting the trees, keep a picture of the lovely forest before you. But if the trees don't get planted, the forest won't appear)
- Seek out partners and give them opportunities to really contribute to the age-friendly movement in your community. Service Clubs, churches, businesses for whom being age-friendly will be an advantage, members of local government who have their own "pet projects" that would relat to age-friendly.
- Monitor the progress of the Age-Friendly actions. If the plans are clear and the expected outcomes are named and timelines set, you will be able to see if progress is being made. There will be surprises! When the action is diverted or blocked, assess what is happening and adjust the plan. Adjusting the plan usually means that it will be MORE effective, because it takes reality into account.