What is an age-friendly Community?
A livable community is a great place to grow up and grow old. A livable community encourages the integration of community development, infrastructure development and services. Its leaders recognize the needs and preferences of older adults and ensure that the community provides affordable and appropriate housing opportunities, adequate transportation and mobility options, and supportive community features and services. And a livable community values people throughout their lifespan, supports individuals’ personal independence while recognizing their interdependence, and facilitates their engagement in civic and social life.
Age-Friendly communities have several distinguishing characteristics:
- Quality housing: A variety of options that are accessible, affordable, and adaptable.
- Mobility options: Multiple safe and accessible alternatives for getting from one place to another.
- High levels of social engagement and activity: Services, retail and green spaces within walking distance of housing, creating destination spots and opportunities for healthy lifestyles and social interaction.
- Easy access to information and resources: Readily available and easily navigable information about services and activities, and resources for taking utilizing them.
- Active community Involvement: Opportunities for social engagement, employment and volunteer and civic participation.
- Respect and social inclusion: Positive community attitudes about people of all ages (i.e., recognizing the valuable roles that people across their lifespan can play in society).
Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities
The Foundation on Aging has received a technical assistance grant from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) to participate, along with 5 other communities across the county, in a Livable Communities Collaborative Project. The goals of this project include:
- Create a community task force representing multiple sectors of Larimer County to create a framework for advancing age-friendly initiatives throughout the county.
- Facilitate the work of the task force to develop specific action plans to advance current community initiatives utilizing existing skills and resources across a broad spectrum of local stakeholders.
- Establish and train self-directed volunteer teams of older adults to assist with implementation of those plans
- Provide leadership to keep projects moving forward and to support ongoing use of this initial framework to develop long-term cross-sector collaborative initiatives to advance livability in our local communities.
To date we have established the Partnership for Age-Friendly Communities. Members of this group represent a variety of organizations and initiatives intended to improve livability for seniors in Larimer County. We invited additional participants from a broad cross section of community stakeholders to attend a day long stakeholder workshop in February 2014 to identify ongoing or planned livability initiatives throughout the county and to share ideas and insights that could lead to specific cross-sector collaborative projects to build on those initiatives and help move them forward.
We will use these pages to report on the outcome of that workshop and to recruit volunteers to help with implementation of identified projects. The following progress reports are available:
June 2014 - Priority Issues Groups Adopt Objectives
September 2014 - Volunteer Teams Power UP
October 2014 - Project Updates
October 28, 2014 - Candidate forum