May is Older Americans Month and this year’s theme, Age My Way, couldn’t be more aligned with how AGE+ is making an impact. This theme highlights the ways older adults can remain in their communities and stay engaged as they age. We’d go further by saying communities NEED older adults in order to fully reach their potential.
We must change the narrative that older adults are a burden to their families, communities and systems. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Older adults have important roles to play in building healthy communities everywhere—as volunteers, experienced workers, caregivers, community leaders, advocates and more. As our population shifts and older adults begin to outnumber children for the first time in history, we need to do more listening. So far, listening has told us that 77% of adults 50+ want to remain in their homes for the long term.* This number has remained unchanged for over a decade and through a pandemic. So, now we know two things:
1) older adults are often untapped assets in their communities;
2) most people want to age in the communities they love.
Given this, we need to join together to create a SHARED FUTURE where everyone can thrive and contribute. NOW IS THE TIME!
Here is just some of what AGE+ is doing:
– AGE+ and our partners at AARP Oregon have launched Shared Future Oregon: A Comprehensive Plan for Living + Aging to Become an Age-Friendly State. This campaign will ensure Oregon’s next governor sets a clear vision for the state. The plan will be a cross-sector road map, bringing together community stakeholders, businesses, philanthropy and government agencies to effectively respond to changing demographics across the lifespan so everyone can age well.
– AGE+ is breaking ground on our first rural housing development in 2022. Our innovative approach using prefabricated construction will help keep rents affordable and homes accessible—two necessary components for older adults to age well in their chosen homes. Essential to this model is forming partnerships with local groups to create community-based supportive care networks. The success of this initiative is also tied to older adults having opportunities to give back to their communities in meaningful ways.
Join AGE+ to redefine what it means to age well.
To do this, we need to empower each other to live up to our greatest potential. It’s time to work together as partners to build the SHARED FUTURE we all want.
Did you miss the Ageless Awards last month? Watch the live recording to learn more about our inspiring honorees and their essential roles in Oregon communities! They are a great example of the Age My Way theme!
*AARP Home and Community Preference Survey, November 2021