Making Your Community More Safe and Livable
The U.S. Census Bureau routinely updates its studies that focus on the expected urban and rural population growth in the coming decades, segmenting data by the Boomers, Generations X and Y, and Millennial generations. Lost on some in the bevy of spreadsheets is the fact that boomers are aging at a rapid rate at which states and municipalities cannot keep up support.
You already know that 10,000 baby boomers will turn 65 each day for the next 14 years. But did you know that Gen-X began turning 50 in January?
According to census data, the projected population of Florida is expected to increase from 19 million to 26 million by 2040, and the number of those aged 65 and older will double from 3.3 million to 6.6 million.
Roughly 3.3 million Floridians over 50 years of age own their home and a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study states 90 percent of people over the age of 65 want to stay in their home as long as possible.
To make transformative changes in the face of these figures, AARP became an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-friendly Cities, and Communities, in 2012 establishing the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
“To date, 164 communities nationwide have joined the network,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida State Director. “We’re proud of the fact that in a very short time, Florida now has 16 communities with the most recent Pinellas County joining last month and we continue to engage with across the state to encourage future membership.”
The program includes tools, resources and data to help states, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.
“We are committed to helping our communities that are embarking on the age-friendly initiative,” said Laura Cantwell, age-friendly network lead at AARP Florida. “One of the types of support AARP offers are tools and research that help communities, policymakers and residents understand what people need as they age.”
One of those tools is the AARP Livability Index, which is based on several categories including housing affordability; health care access, and civic and social engagement and is part of the free support to those in the age-friendly network.
To find out more about the age-friendly initiative, where Florida falls on the Livability Index or to discover what’s going on across the state, visit AARP Florida’s Age-Friendly Network webpage at www.aarp.org/AgeFriendlyFL.
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