AARP Eye Center
AARP Massachusetts & Livable Communities
Approximately 45 million Americans are age 65 or older. By 2030, that number will reach 73 million Americans. At that point, fully one in five Americans will be older than 65. By 2034, the United States will — for the first time ever — be a country comprised of more older adults than of children.
AARP Livable Communities supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and rural areas to be great places for people of all ages. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.
A livable community is one that is safe and secure. It offers choices in where to live and how to get around. And it equitably serves residents of all ages, ability levels, incomes, races, ethnicities, and other backgrounds. Livable communities:
- enhance personal independence;
- allow residents to remain in their homes and communities as they age; and
- provide opportunities for residents of all ages, ability levels, and backgrounds to engage fully in civic, economic, and social life.
The Annual Community Challenge Grant Initiative & Our 2023 Grantees:
The AARP Community Challenge Grant initiative funds innovative projects that inspire change in areas such as public places; housing; transportation; diversity, equity, and inclusion; digital connections; community resilience; and more. The Community Challenge is part of AARP’s nationwide work on livable communities, which supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and counties across the country to become great places for all residents. We believe that communities should provide safe, walkable streets; affordable and accessible housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community life.
AARP Massachusetts is incredibly proud to have seven grantees right here in our state. Our goal is to support their efforts to create great places for people of all backgrounds, ages and abilities. As local leaders seek to better their communities for the future, this becomes even more critical.
Here in Massachusetts, the following exciting and diverse projects were funded:
- Attleboro: Attleboro Norton YMCA
Free care will be provided to older adults living with Alzheimer's and other related dementias so their caregivers can exercise at the YMCA.
- Bridgewater: Bridgewater Senior Center
A garden and outdoor activity area for older adults will be developed at the senior center with wheelchair-accessible raised gardening beds, grilling stations and outdoor seating.
- Chelsea: La Colaborativa, Inc.
La Plazita is being constructed to provide Chelsea residents age 50+ an indoor/outdoor activity space to gather, connect, celebrate and create community.
- Dunstable: Town of Dunstable
Three walk audits in the town center will be conducted, with a focus on connections with public facilities, conservation trails and the small business community.
- Lynn: Bike to the Sea
Bike to the Sea will assess challenges older adults in Lynn face when accessing the shared-use Northern Strand Trail. The results will be used to advocate for changes
- Springfield: WalkMassachusetts
A training program will be established to teach residents how to recognize hazardous conditions in their communities and advocate for changes to make streets safer for pedestrians
- Taunton: Downtown Taunton Foundation
Three walk audits will be conducted in Taunton to identify the best route for a three-mile walking path to encourage recreation, physical fitness and tourism.
AARP is working in partnership with local leaders, organizations and dedicated residents to help make that vision a reality. As part of that effort, AARP is excited to announce the largest investment of grant dollars to date through the Community Challenge grant program. More than $3.6 million in quick-action grants are being distributed to 310 organizations across all 50 states, Washington D.C, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
To learn more about the work being funded by the AARP Community Challenge both here in Massachusetts as well as across the nation, visit aarp.org/CommunityChallenge. You can also view an interactive map of all of the Community Challenge projects and AARP Massachusetts’ livable communities work at aarp.org/livable.
How walkable are the streets in your community? Are they accessible, safe, comfortable and enjoyable for residents of all ages? Watch our free webinar to discover the importance of walkable streets and how they can benefit your entire community. You’ll explore how having walkable streets can help local businesses succeed and support health and safety for all. Plus, find out how to educate and take action locally using the AARP Walk Audit Tool Kit. This free webinar will show how grassroots efforts and pilot projects can help neighbors, policymakers, local leaders and volunteers make roadways safe for all users. Sign up and watch now.