The following are examples of innovative practices philanthropic organizations have supported, developed and/or implemented regarding aging and/or disabled populations.
Supported Grantmakers In Aging to create the Hurricane Fund for the Elderly, designed to focus on the needs of older adults after Katrina. A consortium of ten funders stepped out of their traditional philanthropic cycle of giving to respond to extraordinary events that deeply affected the lives of older adults. Building on established relationships, they were able to move relatively quickly to respond to targeted needs for older adults.
Established the Hurricane Sandy Emergency Fund to address the urgent and basic needs of individuals affected by the storm. The Fund provided assistance for accessibility, transitional housing and home modification, medical equipment and supplies, and supported disability organizations seeking to restore operations. Kessler also worked with the Community Law Project to ensure that the rights of individuals with disabilities were protected and that rebuilding standards were in accordance with the laws of the Americans with Disability Act.
Created a Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund in response to Hurricane Katrina. The Fund has been active in the past ten years supporting recovery efforts for seniors impacted by major disasters including Superstorm Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes. AARP draws upon their successful history of collaboration and existing partnerships to ensure that the funds they grant are carefully targeted to meet the needs of vulnerable older adults.
Funded the New York Academy of Medicine to work with community organizations in hard-hit areas to assess the gaps, needs and impact of Superstorm Sandy as it related to older adults. The aim of the project was to convene both government and non-governmental players — such as nonprofit organizations, housing owners/associations, business improvement districts, faith-based organizations, etc. — that could potentially be part of a multi-sector response plan in emergency situations, and to formulate and disseminate recommendations for future action.
Funded a study on hurricane and disaster preparedness for long-term care facilities following Hurricane Katrina. The objective was to support the development and testing of disaster training exercises, and to disseminate these tools across the country to nursing homes and assisted living facilities in order to reduce the deaths and suffering of frail elders during hurricanes and other disasters.
Funded the National Council on Aging to assist the elderly community in accessing benefits in the aftermath of Katrina and Rita.
Provided a leadership grant to HelpAGE to assist in the recovery of the affected senior population after Typhoon Haiyan.
Worked with building owners and property managers to create disaster protocols/evacuation plans for senior housing.