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AARP AARP States Ohio Livable Communities

Age Friendly Cleveland Planning Summit

By Doug Tayek, Associate State Director of Outreach for AARP Ohio in Cleveland


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Participants in the Age Friendly Cleveland Planning Summit

The City of Cleveland is in the midst of their second year of their five year commitment to become more “age-friendly” and on Tuesday, April 12, AARP Ohio joined the City of Cleveland’s Department of Aging to host the Age Friendly Cleveland Planning Summit. The day-long event was held at the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging, and the goal of the planning summit was to convene thought leaders from across the city to develop solutions to the issues and uncertainties facing the city of Cleveland as it attempts to become more age friendly. For more information on what comprises an AARP Age Friendly Community, visit the AARP Age Friendly Network site.

The results of the work that was done at the planning summit will be combined with information garnered from focus groups and the Cleveland Age Friendly Assessment to develop the Age Friendly Cleveland Action Plan. This document will outline the steps the city will take over the next three years to improve livability within each domain; the initiative will conclude in 2019.

AARP Ohio Interim State Director Tamara James helped to open the conference with a presentation on AARP’s role in the Cleveland effort along with our work across the 81 communities in the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities. She provided the 120 participants with detailed information on the AARP Livability Index. This tool, developed by the AARP Public Policy Institute, rates the livability of any community in the US and is the most comprehensive collection of livability data.

Tamara was joined in her opening remarks by the City of Cleveland’s Director of the Department of Aging, Jane Fumich, who provided an overview of the initiative from the city administration’s perspective. Dr. Terry Hokenstad, the Age Friendly Cleveland Advisory Council chairman, discussed the World Health Organization’s Global Community, and Emily Campbell from the Center for Community Solutions presented an in depth look at the data compiled through the Age Friendly Cleveland Community Assessment.

After the opening remarks, participants headed to breakout sessions where they discussed questions and addressed issues raised from within the 8 Domains of Livability. The conversations and answers to the questions posed in each session were compiled by the City and will contribute to the action plan. The breakout sessions bookended a lunchtime keynote address from City of Cleveland’s Planning Director Freddy Collier. His presentation focused on the connection between planning and health outcomes in the community.

The conference was a great step towards developing the city’s action plan and making Cleveland a community that is livable for residents of all ages. AARP Ohio is proud to be a partner with the City of Cleveland in their Age Friendly initiative.

The AARP Age Friendly Network is based on the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age Friendly Communities; a movement developed in 2006 by the WHO with the goal of helping communities from across the globe prepare for the rapid aging of their societies. Since 2012 AARP has served as the exclusive partner of the WHO in the United States; the work being done in cities across the country like Cleveland revolves around the 8 Domains of Livability, which were developed by the WHO. The 8 Domains are the core of the Age Friendly movement, and focus on the key aspects that make a community livable. These aspects are: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Communication and Information, and Community Support and Health Services.

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