Auburn Hills commits to AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities collaborative
Auburn Hills, Mich.—August 13, 2013—The City of Auburn Hills has enrolled in AARP’s Age Friendly Communities Network, a collaborative effort recognizing that an age friendly community thrives in diversity, compassion and acceptance for all generations while creating a community for all. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is an institutional affiliate of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.
“Auburn Hills is already an all ages-friendly community, but we are entering AARP’s Age Friendly Communities Network to remain a leader in this area and continue to adopt best practices,” said Auburn Hills City Manager, Pete Auger. “As part of the network, Auburn Hills will continue to conduct comprehensive community assessments using a variety of survey tools to analyze both our strengths and gaps in being an age-friendly community. Our ultimate goal is to ensure Auburn Hills is a place where all generations feel welcome.”
In May, Auburn Hills was designated by the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) and the Commission on Services to the Aging as a “Community for a Lifetime” for its efforts to be an aging-friendly community. The city was noted for providing a range of home chore service options, multiple community events to promote inclusion and civic engagement and a comprehensive walkway system.
The city of Auburn Hills’ Age Friendly Community Planning Collaborative will be guided by eight WHO indicators of a livable community:
1) Outdoor spaces and buildings - universal access to and availability of safe recreational facilities
2) Transportation – safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation
3) Housing – wide range of housing options for older residents and other home modifications
4) Social participation – access to leisure and cultural activities; opportunities for older residents to participate in social and civic engagement with their peers and younger community members
5) Respect and social inclusion – programs to support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, along with programs to encourage multigenerational interaction and dialogue
6) Civic participation and employment – promotion of paid work and volunteer activities for older residents and opportunities to engage in formulation of policies relevant to their lives
7) Communication and information – promotion of and access to the use of technology to keep older residents connected to their community and friends and family, both near and far
8) Community support and health services –access to homecare services, clinics and programs to promote active aging
The Collaborative will be led by Karen S. Adcock, SDC, Auburn Hills’ senior services director, and Steve Cohen, community development director. Together, Cohen and Adcock are responsible for overall operations of the project. In addition to serving as liaisons to City Council, City Manager’s office, City Planning Commission, AARP, WHO and the community, they will work closely with a leadership advisory team, led by Auburn Hills’ Legislative and Community Affairs Coordinator, Stephanie Carroll, and oversee program participant efforts, including community partners, community advisory volunteers, supporting community members and city department stakeholders.
The first project of the collaborative will be the distribution of a survey to city residents this fall to establish a baseline within the context of the eight domains and further an understanding of the unique priorities for the city of Auburn Hills. Once priorities are established, the data will be evaluated and monitored over time to determine progress and focus areas.