Our Impact

Making Island Older Adults Safer

  • Edgartown re-bricked its sidewalks to make it safer for older adults to get around Town, and several Towns have made beach access possible and/or safer by constructing walkways and providing special beach wheelchairs.

  • HAMV received grants to pilot two evidence-based programs:  The first, Matter of Balance, is a fall prevention program that continues to be offered at Island Health Center and the Y. The second, Powerful Tools for Caregivers, is a self-care education program that teaches caregivers tools and strategies to manage the challenges they face. It continues to be offered by the Island Health Center.

  • MV Hospital is in the process of converting to the Medical Home Model, a patient-centered, comprehensive, coordinated, accessible and committed to quality and safety model for primary care. This shift should improve accessibility as well as quality of services to older adults, as well as other island residents.

  • HAMV held a National Association of Homebuilders training for Island Builders, Architects and Occupational Therapists to become “Certified Aging-in-Place Specialists” so they can help older adults make home modifications needed to safely age in place.

  • As a result of the Vineyard Transportation Authority’s Consumer Advisory Board meetings, the VTA began the process of securing funding for a vehicle for a Cape Area Medivan four years ago, which was finally funded in FY 17. The VTA and Center for Living hope to begin this service in the new year. HAMV is working with them and the Wampanoag Tribe to strengthen older adults’ off-island medical travel as well as expand on-island possibilities.

Making Island Older Adults Healthier

  • Organizations like the YMCA (which added a Director of Senior Programs/Services) and Featherstone created new programs for older adults, including Featherstone’s support group for people with dementia.

  • HAMV has participated in the island’s Coalition on Substance Use Disorder (SUD), assuring that the special needs of older adults facing the challenges of alcohol and opioids are being met.

Mobilizing the Island Community

  • The 6 Island towns, facilitated by the County, funded the $1.6 million purchase of a permanent home for the MV Center for Living, which will allow expansion of the Center’s Supportive Day Program to 5 days a week. Towns are also contracting services for CORE (an in-home older adult mental health counseling service) from MV Community Services ($53,000 per year), and FirstStop MV, a staffed and online Information and Referral Service ($86,990 per year) originally developed and piloted by HAMV as a service for Island older adults. They also fund the annual operating costs for My Senior Center at each of the Councils on Aging, a management information and scheduling system designed for COAs that was also developed and purchased for them by HAMV.

  • HAMV recruited, educated and mobilized 7O “Senior Advocates” to help build political support for HAMV programs and advocate for older adult needs at Town Meeting and other venues in their Towns.

  • HAMV made a presentation to all Town Planning Boards and Affordable Housing Committees about the growing older adult housing crisis and the need to change zoning to create more options (e.g. accessory apartments, “visitability”, and multifamily housing). Two towns subsequently added bylaws to permit accessory apartments, and all towns are considering zoning changes to support creating older adults and workforce housing options.


Click here to view HAMV's 2018 Community Action Plan