AARP Age-Friendly Community

The City of Lansing joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities in the summer of 2015 and spent 2016 holding community conversations to discuss the initiative and to get feedback from residents. As part of the network, Lansing joins over 100 communities across the country, including seven other capital cities. 

Our country is experiencing a dramatic demographic change that will result in our communities needing to support twice as many people over the age of 65 as we have today. What will that mean for housing, transportation, health care, social services, work force and economic development? At the same time we address these issues, we want to make sure our communities continue to be a place where people of ALL ages want to live, work and play.

What is an age-friendly community?

An age-friendly community is an inclusive and accessible environment that promotes active aging.  It emphasizes enablement rather than disablement and is not just age-friendly, but friendly for all ages.  It responds to both the opportunities and the challenges of an aging population by creating physical and social environments that support independent and active living.  As a result, older residents are enabled to continue contributing to all aspects of their community life. 

Why do we need to be age-friendly?

Lansing is aging, with the city’s greatest increase in population coming from the 55-59 and 60 to 64 age brackets. Older adults are assets to our community, spending a high percentage of their income locally: voting, starting businesses, and volunteering at high rates. If we fail to address our demographic shift, Lansing will not be as vibrant a place as it could be, and we will lose older residents.

How does the program work?

The Age-Friendly Community program, an affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO) Age-Friendly Cities and Communities program, helps develop plans for the infrastructure and support systems necessary to enable people to stay in their communities as they age. The program emphasizes both the built and social environment, as well as features such as safe, walk-able streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.
Age-Friendly Lansing

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities website also has more information. To stay informed, sign up to receive the AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter every Wednesday.