Age-Friendly Philadelphia Summit Addresses Needs of Aging Population

Thought Leaders Convene to Discuss Community Housing, Mobility, and Civic Participation and Employment

Nov 10, 2015, 11:23 ET from AARP Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP Pennsylvania, along with the Mayor's Commission on Aging, the Philadelphia City Council, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Philadelphia Corporation for Aging, and Ralston Center, convened organizations, municipalities, and thought leaders to discuss age-friendly communities, looking to innovative, replicable programs to make a difference in local communities.

"As Americans live longer, healthier and with more active lives, communities must adapt to meet the changing needs of older residents.  In Philadelphia, we are committed to being an age-friendly community and a vibrant place to live, work and visit for people of all ages," said Mayor Michael A. Nutter.  "I am thrilled that the Age-Friendly Philadelphia Summit will explore ways to make housing, transportation, streets and neighborhoods more accessible and safe for our older residents and everyone."

Housing, mobility, and civic participation and employment took center stage as topics that impact communities, especially with the potential challenges of an aging population.

"By 2030, more than 20 percent of the world's population will be age 65+," said Bill Johnston-Walsh, AARP PA State Director. "AARP is helping cities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets, better housing and transportation options, and access to key services."

"As Greater Philadelphia's metropolitan planning organization, DVRPC makes sure the region grows in a sustainable way by prioritizing transportation investments that keep the region moving while building strong local communities and a regional economy," said Karin Morris, DVRPC Manager of Smart Growth. "Creating livable communities that benefit everyone is the focus of our work, and this event brings together key partners to make that happen."

"The Age-Friendly Philadelphia Summit offers a wonderful opportunity for organizations to come together to spur new initiatives and strengthen existing collaborations to promote an age-friendly city," said Holly Lange, PCA president and CEO. "We know seniors much prefer to age in their homes and communities. Living in an age-friendly environment can help them remain healthy, active and engaged as long as possible."

Since the 2010 Census, Pennsylvania's 65+ population has grown by 8.9 percent.  Over the next 20 years, projections indicate this group will make up nearly a quarter of the state's total population, with more than 3.2 million residents (Penn State Data Center, 2015).  More than 12 percent of Philadelphia's 1.5 million residents are 65+ (Census, 2010). Age-friendly communities are essential to respond to the needs of an aging population.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world's largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org. AARP has 1.8 million members in Pennsylvania. Follow AARP Pennsylvania on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AARPPAand on Twitter @AARPPA.

The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission is dedicated to uniting the region's elected officials, planning professionals, and the public with a common vision of making a great region even greater. Shaping the way we live, work, and play, DVRPC builds consensus on improving transportation, promoting smart growth, protecting the environment, and enhancing the economy. We serve a diverse region of nine counties: Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia in Pennsylvania; and Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Mercer in New Jersey. DVRPC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization for the Greater Philadelphia Region — leading the way to a better future.

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) is the first place where older Philadelphians, and adults with disabilities, can turn for information and services to help maintain or improve the quality of their lives. Established in 1973, PCA is a private, non-profit, nationally-recognized Area Agency on Aging. One of the region's largest non-profit organizations, PCA is funded primarily through the Older Americans Act and the Pennsylvania Lottery, through the Pennsylvania Department of Aging; and Medical Assistance, through the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. For information on PCA's services and programs, call the PCA Helpline at 215-765-9040 or visit www.pcaCares.org.

The Ralston Center will celebrate 200 years of serving the elderly in 2017 and includes Ralston My Way, a Pennsylvania licensed homecare agency; Ralston Wellness providing fitness, social and other programming; Joseph J. Hill Ralston Mercy-Douglass House, a 55-unit independent living apartment building for seniors developed in partnership with the HUD 202 Supportive Housing Program; Ralston Awards for Caregivers and Gerontology Student Nursing Excellence; Ralston House, its historic facility and former residence for elders on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the Ralston Age-friendly West Philadelphia Initiative.  For more information visit www.ralstoncenter.org or call Jean Papaj at 215-386-2984.

CONTACT:
Jacklyn Isasi, AARP PA
609-902-6242 or jisasi@aarp.org

SOURCE AARP Pennsylvania



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