In case you didn’t hear, Miami-Dade County just got a little friendlier … age friendly, that is.

On Feb. 22, Miami-Dade County and the Miami-Dade Age-Friendly Initiative became official members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, a network of over 149 cities and communities nationwide that are committed to promoting greater health, well-being, and quality of life for people of all ages. Miami-Dade is the fifth largest such community in the U.S.

Makes sense that the home to the largest population of older adults age 60 and over in Florida – more than half a million, with that number expected to rise to over 800,000 by 2040 – receive age-friendly designation.

“Older adults are an important part of our diverse, world-class community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “Joining this network shows that we remain committed to working with our many community partners to continue making Miami-Dade County a place where our 2.7 million residents can enjoy every phase of their lives to the absolute fullest.”

City of Hallandale Beach celebrates its age friendliness.

In February, Fort Lauderdale, Satellite Beach, Hallandale also joined the network. There are now 14 municipalities throughout Florida that have pledged to plan, create and design their communities and local programs for residents of all ages. (Watch video at the bottom of blog post.)

“The secret is to get partners. It’s not about redesigning highways,” said AARP Florida Executive Committee member Ken Reinhardt, adding that it doesn’t take millions of dollars or major projects to make a community age-friendly.

State researchers project that Florida’s population will grow by almost 5 million by 2030. Nearly 60 percent of that population growth will be made up of people 60 and old. However, most Florida communities aren’t prepared for this growth.

“We’re excited about the momentum we’ve built in establishing Florida as a leader in age-friendly communities,” said Laura Cantwell, associate state director for AARP Florida. “We know with the expected population changes coming our way, we need to work hard today to ensure safer, more livable cities and neighborhoods for all ages in the near future.”



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