We’re leading the conversation about aging in America.
At 2Life Communities, we’re changing what it means to age in America with innovative thinking, leading-edge programs and adaptable communities. We’re on a mission to expand affordability, improve health and serve an ever-broadening community of older adults. Our involvement at all levels — from developing, building, maintaining and managing all of our communities to providing supportive services — puts us on the front lines of the effort to create a better standard of living for older adults.
On this page we’re sharing some of our thoughts and insights in an effort to expand the conversation and invite others into our mission of making affordable, supportive, purposeful community living available to older adults of all incomes.
Innovation and Change: Thoughts From the Minds at 2Life Communities
2Life's Response to COVID-19: Harvard's Joint Center for Housing Studies
This report, "Planning for the Extraordinary Requires Close Attention to the Ordinary: 2Life Communities' Efforts to Protect Low-Income Older Adults During the Pandemic," explores how 2Life confronted the unprecedented challenges brought on from COVID-19. Written by Rachel G. Bratt and published by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, the paper thoroughly reviews what 2Life did, how it could do it, and some of the lessons learned. Bratt explains, "The 2Life response to COVID-19 provides insights for other affordable housing developers and policy makers about how to operate during non-crisis times, as well as about how to plan for the kinds of extraordinary challenges that emerged due to the pandemic."
2Life's Digital Device Lending Library
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2Life built an accessible, community-supported, user-friendly Digital Device Lending Library for low-income seniors who have little to no experience with technology. These two documents provide a description of the program and links to resources that can serve as a guide to replicate it.
2Life Op-Ed in The Boston Globe: The Longevity Hub series
Written by 2Life CEO, Amy Schectman, and Real Estate Innovation Manager, Elise Selinger, this is an opinion piece entitled Aging in Community. The article joins opinion pieces by other leading innovators specializing in aging from MIT, UMass Boston, and the AARP, as part of the Boston Globe multi-platform series on the transformation of Boston into the Silicon Valley of Longevity — “The Longevity Hub.”
In today’s piece, Amy and Elise show how aging in community, which combines affordable housing with engaging programs and supports, can make senior housing more sustainable and provides a strong foundation for physical, mental, and emotional health during our later years. They also highlight 2Life’s remarkable success in maintaining residents’ health and well-being during the COVID crisis. Finally, they explore the opportunities for extending the many benefits of aging in community to meet the large and growing need for housing in Boston that is affordable for all income levels.
We encourage you to follow Boston Globe’s full series, The Longevity Hub, to learn how Boston is taking steps to become a leader in aging innovation.
Older adults’ ability to age in community is directly affected by the physical spaces that surround them — their apartment homes and the “Village Center” common areas built into each of our communities. With more than 50 years of experience building and managing apartment buildings for older adults, we’ve learned what works best for residents and staff. With each project 2Life has undertaken, we’ve built on best practices in universal design and focused on adaptability while pursuing the highest standards of quality, affordability, and sustainability. Now, we’re sharing what we’ve learned to make our experience available to others and contribute to the conversation about how buildings can best support older adults.
Created with support from the Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellowship, Design Guidelines for Aging in Community summarizes 2Life’s design practice with recommendations for each type of space, architectural specifications, and a list of sample products. These recommendations are born out our decades of experience as well as recent projects in which we weighed trade-offs and discussed priorities with staff in our resident services, programs, capital projects and maintenance departments.
Memory Support Guidelines
This guide, "Tips and Techniques for Supporting Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease Using the Habilitation Model: A Guide for Staff in Independent Senior Housing," is the result of four Innovation Award grants from LeadingAge. The project was to
learn about the Habilitation Therapy model taught by the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, used primarily to train aides and others in nursing homes, and adapt the model to be more appropriate and accessible to staff in independent senior housing. It has since become a go-to resource for many people working to improve the lives of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Joyful Connections! A Structured Social Club for People with Memory Loss
A report documenting how to adapt the Habilitation Therapy Model that has been used in nursing homes into a more appropriate program for a non-institutional setting such as independent senior housing.
Tips and Techniques for Supporting Residents with Mental Illness
Tips and Techniques for Supporting Residents with Mental Illness: A Guide for Staff in Housing for Older Adults contains basic information about the most common mental illnesses; case studies; and tips, techniques and suggested language to help people manage complex behaviors and demanding situations.
2014 Strategic Plan
Back in 2014, when we were Jewish Community Housing for the Elderly, we created a strategic plan that has since become not only our blueprint for direction, but a model for many other organizations seeking direction for how to plan. Although much of what is listed here has been accomplished or just evolved into a new phase, we share it as a tool to help others in their efforts to progress.