AARP took the opportunity of the annual senior picnic to make the announcement that Bristol has been added to its network of Age-Friendly Communities.
Getting older isn’t always easy, but living in the right kind of community can certainly make it easier. Last Wednesday’s Senior Picnic, held by Bristol’s Parks and Recreation Department at the Town Beach Pavilion, was a reminder that Bristol is one such community.
We are all, as a nation, getting older. By 2030, 1 of every 5 people in the U.S. will be 65 or older; by 2034, the number of adults older than 65 will be greater than the number of children under 18. And as we age, our needs change. Bristol’s senior citizens, present and future, can take comfort in knowing that Bristol is taking steps to ensure that it remains a livable community for residents of all ages.
Last Wednesday AARP, the national interest group for Americans over the age 50, took the opportunity of the annual picnic to make the announcement that Bristol has been added to its network of Age-Friendly Communities.
The AARP age-friendly network encourages states, counties, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of our nation's population by encouraging local leaders to focus on and strengthen the features and services that help to make communities livable for residents of all ages.
Launched in April 2012, the network is an organizational affiliate of the World Health Organization Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, a program launched in 2006. Through the age-friendly program, AARP helps participating communities to become more livable and age-friendly by creating safer and more walkable streets, needed housing and transportation options, better access to key services, and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.
The network provides a structured process that guides change and serves as a catalyst to educate, encourage, promote and recognize improvements that benefit residents of all ages and life stages. Enrollment in the network provides member communities, now including Bristol, with the resources to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models and best practices.
According to Mary Ann Quinn, Bristol’s Director of Senior Services, the age friendly community will be an ongoing campaign for Bristol, strengthening the town’s partnership with AARP and provide access to services and resources.
Recognizing that well-designed, age-friendly communities foster economic growth and make for happier, healthier residents of all ages, the program has designated eight domains of livability to help communities organize and prioritize their work: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings; Transportation; Housing; Social Participation; Respect and Social Inclusion; Work and Civic Engagement; Communication and Information; and Community and Health Services.
For more information, please visit AARP.org/AgeFriendly.