There are specific areas where communities come up short in their ability and readiness to serve an increasingly aging population. Transportation, retail accessibility and social integration are three examples cited by a MetLife Mature Market Institute study published last week—among others—that communities can target to ensure they are appealing to and meeting the needs of the aging population.
“While all communities are unique and have varying degrees of resources, every community can actively engage residents across the generations in addressing community challenges,” said Sandra Timmermann, Ed.D., director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute. “There are simple ways to get this started. For example, appoint an intergenerational community advisory council to offer multiple perspectives and unique solutions for a given locality.”
The areas where communities tend to come up short, according to MetLife, are housing, transportation and safe neighborhoods, health care and supportive services, retail and social integration.
The study provides examples of integration programs, such as a system in Virginia that serves older homeowners by providing assistance with snow shoveling and home repairs.
“Communities that create opportunities for people of all ages improve the quality of life and strengthen the community,” said Donna Butts, executive director of Generations United. “We’ve witnessed great success in those that understand how to use an intergenerational lens to develop and implement policies and programs for all generations.”
Written by Elizabeth Ecker