Livable Communities

AARP Iowa is taking a road trip to the Charles City Challenge Whitewater Festival for a day on the Cedar River at Iowa's first whitewater park. Named "Outstanding Event" by Iowa Tourism, the festival is now in its eighth year features kayak and tube events on the water as well as fun on the shore in a beautiful setting! Activities include disc golf, public art, walking trails, vendors, food and more.
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According to a recent AARP Iowa 2019 Age-Friendly Online Survey_cedar rapids deck (002) , nine out of 10 say that the city rates “good” or better for aging in place in the community. In addition, 88 percent of survey respondents expressed that aging in their own homes is either “very” or “extremely” important to them.  AARP Iowa released the full results of the survey today, and held an open discussion with approximately 50 local residents about the livability of Cedar Rapids, at the Cedar Rapids Downtown Library, 450 5th Ave. SE.
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According to a recent survey from AARP Iowa of nearly 400 Cedar Rapids residents age 50 and older, nine out of 10 say that the city rates “good” or better for aging in place in the community. In addition, 88 percent of survey respondents expressed that aging in their own homes is either “very” or “extremely” important to them. AARP is looking to designate Cedar Rapids as its next ‘age-friendly’ city in Iowa.
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In life, we all get a bit rusty, eventually. One friend needs a hip replacement and another is recovering from neurosurgery on his lower back. I have had surgeries to repair each of my shoulders and am planning on getting other procedures to essentially repair what is malfunctioning due to wear and tear. In other words: I’m getting old. Aging into the sixties and beyond immerses nearly everyone into an expanding world of medical maintenance. Whether our friends, family or ourselves, repair of aging ‘systems’ is a reality for most people.
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This past week, AARP Iowa hosted a live teletown hall on Public Measure A - the local option sales tax in Des Moines, which local residents will vote on at the polls next Tuesday, March 5.  AARP Iowa State Director Brad Anderson was joined on the call by Christine Hensley, former Des Moines City Council member and Joe Van Haalen, president of Des Moines Firefighters IAFF Local 4.
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On Monday evening, the Des Moines City Council unanimously approved MoveDSM, the first citywide comprehensive transportation planning effort, establishing a multi-modal vision for transportation in Des Moines over the next 25 years. AARP Iowa, the American Heart Association (AHA), and Des Moines Public Schools—who have worked together in recent months to urge passage of Move DSM—applaud the City Council for passing the plan, which identifies how transportation supports the City’s goals for safety, quality of life, and economic development.
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This summer four Iowa communities received AARP Community Challenge grants to jump-start beautification and accessibility projects. The Iowa grants, which totaled more than $17,000, will help the Avoca Public Library build a musical park for concerts and a green space for gatherings, enable the Keokuk Parks Foundation to convert tennis courts into dedicated pickleball courts, fund decorative lighting on Main Street in Manning, and share the Woodbine community’s history by mounting signs on buildings and in pocket parks along Main Street.
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Maddie Miller was born with spina bifida and has been confined to a wheelchair most of her life. Now 22 years of age and employed at the South Suburban YMCA in Des Moines, Miller takes great pride in her independence and relies on Dart transportation to get to and from work. The lack of sidewalks in her neighborhood, however, has put her safety and independence in jeopardy.
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Letter to the Editor, by Don Corrigan, AARP Iowa Executive Council Member
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By Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa State Director
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