Age-friendly, aging, urban, COVID-19, older adults




Dr. Anna Hammersmith


The population is aging at an unprecedented rate worldwide, especially in the United States. This will put increased strain on fundamental parts of society such as health care and social safety nets. Thus, changes will need to be made to existing structures to accommodate the demographic shift while also meeting the needs of an aging population. Cities worldwide have already started age-friendly initiatives in partnership with the World Health Organization in effort t o make their city more accessible for all ages. The purpose of this study was to explore age-friendly initiatives in the United States and to learn more about how these initiatives are structured and operated. To explore this research aim, in-depth interviews were conducted with leaders of five different age-friendly programs. The findings from this study indicate there are many ways to structure an age-friendly initiative based upon the strengths of the local community and the needs of the older adults in the city. Stable and increased investments are needed to continue expanding age-friendly work, which was made especially clear throughout t he COVID-19 pandemic.

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