Forsyth County Joins AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities

AgeFriendly

Established in 2012, the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, in affiliation with the World Health Organization, has developed a comprehensive program utilized in over 200 cities/communities in the United States. The overarching goal of the program is to promote livability for all ages and improve a community’s quality of life around eight “Domains of Livability.” Communities that are accepted to this Network commit to establishing mechanisms to involve older people, conduct a baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of their community, as well as develop a community-wide action plan based on the assessment findings, and identify indicators to monitor progress.

Forsyth follows Guilford County in joining this worldwide network

As of May 2018, Forsyth County joined six other North Carolina communities as the newest member of
the Network.

Forsyth County leaders recognize the importance of encouraging and promoting age-friendly planning and policies to address changing demographics. The County has committed to a process of continual improvement to support active and healthy aging and to create a community where people can live their best lives.

A variety of organizational partners, including health care and other non-profits, corporate, education, and philanthropic agencies, alongside community members, have spearheaded local planning efforts through the initiative, Age-Friendly Forsyth (AFF). Through the work of this collaborative initiative, Forsyth County has already completed many of the key membership commitments including conducting a baseline assessment, indicator identification, and planning processes associated with developing a community-wide action plan. AFF connects, informs, and engages aging adults and community partners to create a livable community through collaborative planning and action. Currently AFF is working with key stakeholders to implement a robust resident engagement plan and promote efficient use of available resources to maximize impact for all.

As a member community, Forsyth County will have access to nation-wide resources and tools the Livable Communities affiliation provides, including access to aging and civil society experts, best practices, and opportunity to partner with other communities. Additionally, membership will support AFF as it continues to coordinate and implement efforts locally with the focus on providing a framework where organizations and residents can more effectively work together to address the needs of aging adults.

Here are just a few of the positive comments local community leaders have to say about the commitment to being an Age-Friendly Community:

Sam Matthews, Executive Director, Shepherd’s Center of Greater Winston-Salem:

“Becoming recognized as a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is, and will be, significant for our community on many fronts. First, it validates the significant work accomplished by the Age-Friendly Forsyth partnership and the planning which has been accomplished. Secondly, as an AARP Network member and a partner in Age-Friendly Forsyth partnership, the Shepherd’s Center and those we serve will benefit from the action taken on the identified needs and priorities which older adults face in our community. This recognition will enable all individuals in our community to live their best lives.”

Linda Darden, Executive Director, Hospice and Palliative Care Center/Trellis Supportive Care:

“We are blessed with wonderful age-related services and supporting organizations in Forsyth County and the initial work of the Age-Friendly Forsyth partnership which clarified ways that we can enhance the livability of our community for older adults.  Becoming a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities adds additional resources and tools within a proven framework to further support our efforts. Forsyth County residents will benefit from the work of this local and national partnership for years to come, and I’m grateful to community and corporate leaders who have come together to support this initiative.”

T. Lee Covington, President and CEO, Senior Services, Inc.:

“Being accepted into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is the next step in more than two years of dedicated effort on the part of hundreds of community leaders and aging adults. We are excited to begin the work now to ensure Forsyth County is indeed a place where aging adults can live their best lives!”

Age-Friendly forsyth connects, informs, and engages aging adults and community partners to create a livable community through collaborative planning and action.

FOCUS Areas include:

Physical and mental health

Financial health

Housing and safety

Accessibility and mobility

Support Network

Empowerment and engagement

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