“Age-Friendly” Means Friendly For ALL

Photo R. Meshar

There’s so much we can do – even in our own local communities. Check out all of the innovative ideas in this article with excellent resource links at the end.

Here are just a few good ideas from the article –

It will take some creative steps to make New York and other cities age-friendly enough to help the coming crush of older adults stay active and independent in their own homes.

“It’s about changing the way we think about the way we’re growing old in our community,” said New York Deputy Mayor Linda Gibbs. “The phrase ‘end of life’ does not apply anymore.”

With initiatives such as using otherwise idle school buses to take seniors grocery shopping, the World Health Organization recognizes New York as a leader in this movement.

But it’s not alone.

Atlanta is creating what it calls “lifelong communities.” Philadelphia is testing whether living in a truly walkable community really makes older adults healthier. In Portland, Ore., there’s a push to fit senior concerns such as accessible housing into the city’s new planning and zoning policies.

The key is understanding this (bold emphasis mine):

. . . if you make something age-friendly, that means it is going to be friendly for people of all ages, not just older adults,” said Margaret Neal of Portland State University’s Institute on Aging.

DH and I are actively looking for places to live in retirement that would allow us to use no car, public transportation or only one car. Walking is paramount – to the library, volunteering, faith community, grocery store, restaurants, coffee shops, museums, health care appointments and more. It is healthier, active, you meet more people and it’s easier to stay involved in the community. Check here for a list of most walkable cities in the U.S.

Because we have simplified our lifestyle we don’t need much space for stuff/things (a large kitchen or dining room isn’t necessary, for example). But we do know from our own experience that diversity in people and activities greatly enhances our quality of life.

What do you think? Would you consider adding diversity in people and activities to your life? Would you move to a place where you could easily use public transportation and then actually use it?

You may also like Live a Little, Prairie Walk and Simplify, Simplify, Simplify.