Westerly Joins the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities
Westerly has become the fourth Rhode Island municipality to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Westerly Council President Sharon Ahern and an array of community partners gathered on August 25 to announce the new collaboration that will benefit Westerly residents.
“The establishment of Age Friendly Westerly was met with an enthusiastic community response from the very start and has included people and organizations from a broad spectrum of the community, some of whom had not previously worked together in this way,” said collaboration member Laurel Holmes, Director of Community Partnerships and Population Health at Westerly Hospital.
“As a result, we have been able to accomplish many of the strategies outlined in our community plan within only a year of existence, and even during a pandemic. Because of the energy and commitment around this effort, we were also able to transition to the all-virtual format to keep everyone safe. Despite the challenges, we have continued to organize and move forward on our agenda.”
Westerly joins Cranston, Newport and Providence as members of the network, which helps participating communities become great places for people of all ages by adopting features such as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in civic and community activities.
Westerly civic leaders will have access to global resources and information on age-friendly best practices, models of assessment and implementation, and the experiences of towns and cities around the world.
“Age-Friendly Westerly exemplifies the qualities of a truly livable community -- intentional and proactive about serving people of all ages and abilities,” said AARP State Director Catherine Taylor. “In becoming part of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, Westerly has demonstrated an impressive commitment to work collaboratively across government and community agencies to improve livability, and involve residents of all ages in the process,” Taylor added. “Westerly’s model of broad collaboration and the hard work that has up to this announcement are making a real difference in the lives of Westerly residents.”
Partners in Age Friendly Westerly include: AARP Rhode Island, Age Friendly RI, Alzheimer’s Association of RI, Apple Rehab, Jonnycake of Westerly, Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce, The Frank Olean Center, PACE RI, Parent Support Network of RI, Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center, Tri-County Community Action, The Village Common of RI, Town of Westerly Developmental Services, Council, Police and Recreation Departments, Westerly Hospital, Westerly Housing Authority, Westerly Library and Wilcox Park, and the Westerly Senior Center.
The common thread among the enrolled communities and states is the belief that the places where we live are better able to support people of all ages when local leaders commit to improving the quality of life for the very young, the very old, and everyone in between.
AARP engages with elected officials, partner organizations and local leaders to guide communities through the age-friendly network’s assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation processes.
People of all ages benefit from the adoption of policies and programs that make neighborhoods walkable, feature transportation options, enable access to key services, provide opportunities to participate in community activities, and support housing that’s affordable and adaptable.
Providence Public Library, Progreso Latino and Southside Community Land Trust are our 2021 AARP Rhode Island Community Challenge Grant winners. Read more...
Great, Age-Friendly, Livable Communities Include the Great Outdoors
JOIN US Wednesday, July 28, 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Register online now or call 1-877-926-8300.
JOIN US Wednesday, July 28, 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Register online now or call 1-877-926-8300.
Miss the June event? Watch the recording here.
GROWING AND GROWING
Hey, Cranston, Newport, Providence and Westerly you are part of the growth of the AARP Age Friendly Network of Livable Communities. And watch for the announcement that a fourth Rhode Island city is joining the network! Click on the image below to read about some new members across the country.
THANKS to all who made this April event a huge success!
Miss this event? Watch the Recording
Let's Get Rhode Islanders Connected!
Attend this important virtual event
Working Together to Build Strong Communities
AARP Rhode Island and a tireless group of volunteers is dedicated to working with community partners to create Livable Communities. In the past, "Livable Communities" seemed to be about building neighborhoods that were accessible to old people. The term was associated with "Aging in Place," which was misunderstood to mean "allowing old people to live in their homes to the very end." This is not where we are today.
Building Livable Communities means people of all ages taking an active, holistic role in improving the neighborhoods we live in today so that we can live there healthier, safer and happier for as long as we so choose.
Congratulations, Central Falls!
The City has been named a recipient of a 2020 AARP Community Challenge grant. The $30,000 grant will be used to provide much-needed shade at Veterans Memorial Park. And more. Read all about it.
Newport, Cranston Join AARP Network of
Age-Friendly States & Communities
NEWPORT As the 377th community to sign on to the network, Newport’s civic leaders will have access to global resources and information on age-friendly best practices, models of assessment and implementation, and the experiences of towns and cities around the world.
The network helps participating communities become great places for people of all ages by adopting features such as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in civic and community activities.
“Well-designed, livable communities promote wellbeing, sustain economic growth, and make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. “By becoming part of the network, Newport is making a commitment to do even more to improve livability in the city and involve older residents in the process,” she said. “This is just the latest milestone in a long history of AARP Rhode Island engagement with the City of Newport and its residents – including this summer’s opening of the AARP-sponsored Fitness Park, an exciting addition being enjoyed by many who visit the city’s Aquidneck Park.”
“We’re thrilled to be recognized as an Age Friendly Community,” said Newport Mayor Jamie Bova. “Newport is truly an incredible place to live at any age, and this designation is a testament to the work we’ve been doing as a City not only to enhance the quality of life for our residents, but also the investments we’ve been making in our infrastructure and civic engagement.”
CRANSTON As the 390th community to sign on to the network, Cranston’s civic leaders will have access to global resources and information on age-friendly best practices, models of assessment and implementation, and the experiences of towns and cities around the world.
“Well-designed, livable communities promote wellbeing, sustain economic growth, and make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell.
“By becoming part of the network, Cranston demonstrates an impressive ability to work collaboratively across city departments and engaging with community members to do more to integrate and improve livability in the city and involve residents of all ages in the process,” she said.
“Cranston is one of the Best Cities to Live in the United States and the best community in Rhode Island because of our great quality of life for our residents,” said Mayor Allan Fung. “By joining AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, we will have access to some great tools and resources to ensure that our aging population is well served. We want to ensure that our older population can live, work and play in a community that is responsive to their ever-changing needs. Their golden years will be their best years!”
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities targets improvements in eight domains that influence the health and quality of life for all as we age. Communities participating in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities commit to improving their livability through an assessment of needs, development of an action plan, implementation of new projects and programs, and ongoing assessment – all with the involvement of older residents.
Congratulations from AARP Rhode Island!
Fun for all ages in East Providence
An AARP Community Challenge Grant covered the cost of the game tables and benches that make the new splash pad at Onna W. Moniz-John Park in East Providence a truly Age-Friendly place. It opened June 28 -- a scorcher -- and was an instant hit.
AARP is invested in Rhode Island
In 2015, We Dug in
A wondrous thing happens when you plant a seed. Tomorrow, dozens of volunteers along with state and city officials will plant 100 juniper shrubs in the Elmwood Avenue section of Providence. The plants, sprung from lowly seeds in some distant greenhouse, will come of age symbolizing something special. The saga begins last year with the well-intentioned idea that metal basket planters along the business district’s sidewalks would improve curb appeal, making the space look more like a part of the neighborhood and less like a disjointed urban commercial strip. Unfortunately, without public funds for plants, human nature took its course and the empty containers became de facto trash receptacles, often overflowing and producing the opposite of the aesthetic they were designed to promote. Thanks to donated plants and voluntary labor, we will be welcoming spring by changing that landscape to something much greener.
WATCH THE PLANTING VIDEO
A TREE GROWS IN PROVIDENCE - PART II In May, AARP volunteers returned to Elmwood Avene in Providence where, in 2015, they joined other neighborhood activists in the planting of 99 junipers in neglected sidewalk containers. Here is the full story, as published in the Providence Journal. Alas, some of the original plants did not flourish. That is to say, they died. Thanks to many helping hands, the fatalities have been replaced by new, drought-resistant plants that will be regularly watered by volunteers and Elmwood Avenue business owners. Great job everybody!
#AARPRI (hexadecimal #ffffff)