Age-friendly towns are places that provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to remain intellectually and physically active, socially connected, and engaged with life. Some characteristics of an age-friendly town include bike and walking trails, ease of transportation and accessible spaces, regardless of a person’s physical challenges. They also include “green spaces” so that people can remain connected to nature – something which enhances our health and well-being.
We know that successful agers benefit from these types of communities because people who age successfully actively seek out meaningful pursuits, and take steps to identify what their health risks are and educate themselves about lifestyle choices to lower these risks. They also challenge themselves physically and intellectually. These key characteristics resemble what we find in the Blue Zones. These are areas of the world characterized by high vitality and longevity and reflect lifestyles similar to ancestral societies and those identified by the MacArthur Foundation study on aging. I encourage you to look into sites such as the Blue Zones Project to find out how you might help transform your town into an age-friendly environment.
Live Long. Live Well!