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Published February 6th, 2019
Lafayette takes steps to become an Age-Friendly Community

Lafayette is taking proactive steps toward supporting its older residents as it kicks off the AARP/World Health Organization "age-friendly community" initiative with a meeting hosted by the Senior Services Commission Wednesday, Feb. 20 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Don Tatzin Community Hall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. All are welcome.
The initiative is a response to Lafayette's sizable population of older residents - a segment that is rapidly growing.
Senior Services Coordinator Maureen Neumann explains that as the U.S. population ages and people stay healthy and active longer, communities must adapt. "Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents of all ages," she says.
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is an affiliate of the World Health Organization's Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization. The program has participating communities in more than 20 nations, as well as 10 affiliates representing more than 1,000 communities. Members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities become part of a global network of communities that are committed to giving older residents the opportunity to live rewarding, productive and safe lives.
"It's important because our city has a sizable population of residents aged 50 and older. This segment is growing rapidly. Many want to age in place - remain in their homes as they get older," says Neumann. "They need the support of their city to meet their needs."
AARP estimates the process will take five years. The program looks at the Eight Domains of Livability, which form the backbone of the initiative. These are outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and health services.
Each of these domains will be addressed at the meeting. Focus groups will be formed at a later date. Speakers will include Mayor Cam Burks, Interim City Manager Niroop Srivatsa as well as members of the Senior Services Commission.
Neumann says that attendees will be asked to contribute by sharing answers to initial questions about what residents love about Lafayette, what they consider to be current age-friendly needs, and what age-friendly needs they foresee for the future.
Refreshments will be served and there will be door prizes. Any residents interested in attending should reserve their spot by registering on the website listed below or by calling (925) 284-5050.

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