Mayors across the country have named aging as a top priority for their cities as the number of persons aged 65 and older in the US is anticipated to double by 2050, from 46 million to 92 million, according a recent article on the Yahoo Finance website.
These statistics are from the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM)/American Association of Retired Person (AARP) Report on Aging in America, which surveyed 108 mayors – 92% of who said that aging issues are of high importance. In addition, sixty percent of mayors surveyed currently have an aging-related task force or initiative underway in their cities.
The report also details the top six priority issue areas that mayors identify as facing older Americans in cities across the country: health and wellness, housing, transportation and infrastructure, neighborhood and public safety, social activities, and workforce development.
Older Americans will have a significant impact on communities. As lifespans in the United States have gradually increased, so have the numbers of older people who wish to remain engaged in the workforce and in community. In addition, trends show that more people would like to remain in their homes as they age.
“It is critical for cities to make it easier for people to remain in their neighborhoods and communities as long as they want. As this report demonstrates, mayors and city leadership are actively and strategically developing their cities to support all of their citizens, including the nation’s rapidly growing population of older adults,” Mayor Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines (FL) and Chair of the USCM Taskforce on Aging, stated in the article.
How communities continue to address aging populations is of particular interest to several Advocacy & Communication Solutions, LLC (ACS) clients, such as the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY). In 2017, ACS is helping HFWCY communicate about their “Triggers of Decline” framework for aging adults. Triggers of Decline are an event or change in the physical, cognitive, or mental health of otherwise healthy older adults living in the community that can lead to functional decline or limit their daily activities and ultimately, result in the loss of independence.