Annals of Anthropological Practice

BUILDING LIVING ALLIANCES: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND COMMUNITY-BASED PARTNERSHIPS TO ADDRESS THE HEALTH OF COMMUNITY ELDERS

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Abstract

This article describes the process of creating and maintaining alliances to address the health and well-being of older adults. These relationships, that we call “living alliances,” are developed and nurtured through long-term relationships with individuals and organizations from across diverse sectors of communities in which we work, and very often live. Utilizing brief case examples of research conducted by the Institute for Community Research (Hartford, CT), in collaboration with local and national partners on topics of concern to older adults, we present a history of the development of specific alliances and how they were implemented. These provide concrete examples of the alliance building process, the challenges faced, and how an initial set of associations has grown into a dynamic network of alliances that we can draw on to conduct community-based partnership research. We also include a discussion of lessons learned in the processes of building and sustaining these living alliances.

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