Louisville Metro, U of L, KIPDA and AARP Kentucky announce Age-Friendly Louisville plan for 2019-21
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today that Louisville Metro Government, together with the University of Louisville’s Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, AARP Kentucky and the Kentucky Regional Planning and Development Agency (KIPDA), have completed an Action Plan for Age-Friendly Louisville, an initiative to create an accessible and inclusive city for people of all ages and abilities.
With the guidance of a community advisory group, eight community meetings, two city-wide surveys, and collaboration with Plan 2040 (Louisville’s recently updated comprehensive plan), the Age-Friendly plan outlines goals and actions for four focus areas: housing, mobility and access, social participation and inclusion, and community support and health services.
The city and its partners will host a kick-off event for the Age Friendly plan at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Jewish Family and Career Center, 2821 Klempner Way.
The planning process began in late 2016 with Louisville’s membership in the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities, an institutional affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age Friendly Cities & Communicates.
“Membership in the Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities has boosted our efforts to support our growing population of seniors and bring age-friendly practices to the forefront of our community,” the Mayor said. “One of our guiding principles in Louisville is to become an even more compassionate city, and that means ensuring that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Named “America’s Aging Care Capital” by Forbes magazine, Louisville is a leader in aging and health care innovation, with more than 85,000 professionals working to create the health and aging solutions of tomorrow. The Age-Friendly Louisville plan will help further position the city at the forefront of aging care for a global senior population.
“At the national level, AARP is a leader in promoting Age-Friendly cities. Locally, we will leverage our resources and network to connect the initiative to critical grassroots systems and advocacy channels,” said Tihisha Rawlins, Associate State Director at AARP Kentucky. “We are working to create a statewide conversation where all of Kentucky’s age-friendly communities—Berea, Bowling Green, Lexington, and Louisville—can share ideas and support one another in the process of becoming age-friendly.”
“I look forward to the day when all citizens in Louisville can say their community is age-friendly; that regardless of a person’s age (from early childhood to centenarian), all are able to access and actively participate in their community: the place where they live,” said Barbara Gordon, Director of Social Services at KIPDA.
Dr. Anna Faul, Executive Director of the University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging, said, “The Institute looks forward to leveraging its connections to achieve wide-reaching coordination and collaboration in this effort. Such comprehensive buy-in will be vital to the success of the age-friendly city endeavor: improving the quality of life not only for our older residents but for residents of all ages.”
The plan’s goals and actionable steps include:
- Increasing the number of home maintenance resources for older adults, to ensure that they can age in place
- Increasing the number of home builders who have earned the Certified Aging in Place Specialist certification from the National Association of Home Builders
- Working with TARC to ensure its services are affordable, accessible and understandable to all community members
- Improving sidewalks, crosswalks and signal crossing times to ensure all citizens can access their communities safely.
- Increasing the capacity of neighborhood associations, Neighborhood Places, community ministries and other community organizations to promote health resource information.
- Hiring an Age Friendly Louisville program manager to oversee the activities of the plan.
Louisville’s population currently includes 15% of people over the age of 60 and projections states that percentage could increase to 40% by 2050. The Age Friendly Plan has incorporated goals and strategies to improve the quality of life for people of all ages.
To view the complete Age Friendly plan, please visit https://www.agefriendlylou.com/