Not only is the New Year a great time to reflect on personal goals, but it can also provide an opportunity to contemplate visions for our communities. For example, how could your friends and neighbors benefit from being a part of a livable community -- one that is safe and secure, has affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, and offers supportive community features and services?
While many of these objectives can be achieved through a collective effort, there are many things you can do on your own in order to make your surroundings more livable. Thus, we would like to share our 2016 Resolutions for a More Livable California:
- Enjoy the Beauty of the Golden State
Visit one of our beautiful national parks, have lunch at a new outdoor café, or plan a daily walk to your local parklet.
- Leave the Car Keys at Home More Often
Friends in other states may view us as freeway fiends, but we know a good bike trail when we see one. Ditch the auto, walk or take public transportation to your next local event.
- Be a Homebody
No, we’re not talking about streaming video marathons. Most people want to remain in their own home and community as they age. Are there ways that you can modify your home to fit your changing lifestyle? Access AARP’s HomeFit resources here: https://states.aarp.org/tag/home-fit/
- Have Some Fun
Not only is social participation an important aspect of a thriving community, it can be a great antidote for stress and depression.
- Find Opportunities to Include All Generations
Millennials, Boomers and Gen-Xers may have their differences, but they all want to feel valued. Intergenerational activities are a great way for young and old to learn from one another, honor what each has to offer and, at the same time, feel good about ourselves.
- Flex Your Work/Life Balance Muscles
Being a star performer in the office comes with benefits, but so does sharing your skills and expertise with your community.
Need help deciding where to start? Consider these AARP volunteer opportunities or use one of our Do-It-Yourself Guides at www.createthegood.org
- Reach Out and Touch Someone
If you’re reading this, you probably have access to a smart phone or computer with internet access. Keep in mind that for many folks, these modern conveniences are out of reach. This year, consider reaching out to these friends and loved ones with a phone call or written letter.
- Care for a Caregiver
California is home to more than 4 million caregivers. These folks devote themselves to helping their older loved ones and provide an average of 24 hours of weekly assistance. If you know a caregiver, ask how you can be of assistance. Something as simple as a friendly check-in over the phone can go a long way.
If you’d like to find out more about the work AARP is doing around the theme of Livable Communities, visit aarp.org/livable.