Preparing for an Aging Population: The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities
Friday, May 10, 2019
9:15 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. EDT
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Preparing for an Aging Population: The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
By 2035, there will be more people over the age of 65 in the United States than under the age of 18. These rapidly changing population demographics will bring immense change to communities across the country who will need to find ways to respond to this looming challenge.
AARP Indiana’s session will provide an overview of these nearing demographic shifts, the economic and social value of older adults (45 years and older), community preferences of older Hoosiers, and tools available to communities to help them meet the needs of this large population segment. It will also highlight the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, which is one of the key resources for cities, towns, counties, and even states to accommodate and support our growing aging population.
The World Health Organization’s program is an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization. It includes participating communities in more than 20 nations, as well as 10 affiliates representing more than 1,000 communities. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities began in 2012 and currently comprises three states and 315 communities. More than 75 million people, or one of every five people in the United States, now live in a network community.
With that in mind, the session presentation will provide an understanding of the AARP Age-Friendly Communities that currently exist in Indiana. The Hoosier State is home to just two Age-Friendly Communities: the City of Fishers and the City of Gary. While this may be disconcerting given the aging timeline, it is also an incredible opportunity for every city and town in the state to reassess how it supports its current 50-plus population, discover and implement strategies to better support the emerging older population, and leave a legacy that best serves future older residents.
This session will examine how the AARP Age-Friendly State and Community program provides a helpful structure for localities to lead this community work and meet the specific needs of its residents. The program also offers many benefits which includes, but not limited to, receiving guidance from AARP and community development experts, opportunities to network with and peer-review progress with other member communities across the country, and receive public recognition for the community’s commitment to become more age-friendly. This session will also discuss AARP Livable Community resources that are available free of charge to the public. (There is no fee for joining the Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.)
AARP Indiana’s session will further outline the process to join the Network of Age-Friendly Communities and the program components, including developing and implementing local resident preference surveys and community action plans. AARP bases these planning tools on its Eight Domains of Livability: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Communication and Information, and Community and Health Services. The goal of the program is to define ways to enhance the quality, availability, and affordability of the services, facilities, and infrastructure that comprise these Domains.
Attendees will also hear from a representative from the City of Fishers, the first Age-Friendly Community in Indiana, and learn why the city felt it was critical to enroll in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, as well as their experience participating in the program thus far.
Tish Mayfield, email@example.com