— Madison County lies on the western edge of North Carolina, where the Appalachian Trail meanders north and east from Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Generations of farmers once grew tobacco here on the sides of mountains and still raise cattle to make ends meet. “When you go back into some of the mountains and hollers, you can almost touch what once was,” says Dee Heinmuller, Director of Madison County Community Services. On a shoestring budget typical of most rural communities, …

— By Mac McLean The city of Talent has spent nearly 30 years turning its downtown into a thriving community where people can get the amenities and services they need regardless of their age. It’s a transformation that AARP Oregon hopes to make in other parts of the state through its Livable Communities program. “It’s kind of fun to be on the front side of this effort,” said Talent Mayor Darby Ayers-Flood, reflecting on the work the city of 6,500 people …

— By Michelle R. Davis When 81-year-old Christine Mansfield and her husband moved from their longtime house in Bethesda to a nearby apartment in Montgomery County last year, the goal was to make aging easier. “We were looking for more stimulation and cultural activities,” Mansfield said. Now, when she leaves her high-rise in Friendship Heights, Mansfield can walk to the Metro station and her doctors’ offices, a shuttle can take her to the grocery store, and the village’s community center offers …

5 States

— Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins announced Tuesday that the State of Florida has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, a move hailed by AARP as a major step toward making Florida even more livable for people of every age. “I am pleased that Florida is joining this network to take concrete, actionable steps that will make our state more friendly and livable, not only for children and working-age adults, …

— Think about your community for a moment. Are there public parks close to your home? Are there well-lighted streets and sidewalks to lead you there? Is public transportation easily accessible to take you to shopping areas or community activities? Do your local schools involve older residents in events and activities? Whether you are 8 or 80, your community should be an inclusive and accessible environment that encourages active and healthy aging – an Age-Friendly Community. We are delighted to welcome …

— AARP Kansas wants to know how it can help people live their best lives and make their communities a great place to call home. The state organization’s Diversity Council is visiting cities across the state in 2019 to hear new ideas and share news about work already underway. AARP staff and volunteers will discuss the association’s efforts, including the AARP Livable Communities initiative, which focuses on making cities and towns places where anyone can thrive. The tour begins Friday, April …

— AARP is now accepting applications for the 2019 Community Challenge grant program to fund “quick-action” projects that spark change in local communities. The grant program, which is now in its third year, is part of AARP’s nationwide Livable Communities initiative, which aims to make communities great places to live for everyone. The Community Challenge is open to 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) nonprofits and government entities. Other types of organizations will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Grants can range from several …

— Thanks to all who visited the AARP Age-Friendly Home! And additional thanks to the some 40 AARP volunteers who met and helped so many Home Show visitors.     AARP can help make where you live a lifelong home that’s comfortable, and a great fit! Visit the Home Show’s AARP Age Friendly Home to learn smart solutions for making your home right for you. From simple modifications to large design projects, we’ll share solutions aimed at serving you for a …

— By Laura Tillman AARP Texas is working hard to make communities more livable for everyone, whether it’s new curbs for easier walking or an art installation to brighten a public space. For those aging in place and confronting mobility challenges and fixed incomes, livability can mean the difference between connecting with the community or growing isolated. Here’s how five Texas cities are improving life for their residents. Houston Since August 2017, when Hurricane Harvey damaged hundreds of thousands of homes, …

— Three projects funded with Community Challenge grants have increased access to transportation, public spaces and affordable housing. The grants were announced last July as part of AARP’s Livable Communities initiative. In Springfield the Pioneer Valley Transit Authority installed benches to assist older adults and people with disabilities in using the regional transit service. The Old Colony YMCA in East Bridgewater improved the five-mile Hiking Viking trail by adding signs and ADA-compliant benches and boardwalks. And Habitat for Humanity of Greater …