“Never Too Old - To Connect. To Change. To Choose.”

“Never Too Old - To Connect. To Change. To Choose.”

Livable community conference in Phoenix will inform national aging efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Contact: Kelly Taft, MAG, 602-452-5020

PHOENIX (October 8, 2019)—We have a choice in how we age—both as individuals and communities. What’s more, we can use our local lessons as a national model. That is the goal of an upcoming statewide conference to create livable, age friendly communities. The conference name and theme is Never Too Old—To Connect. To Change. To Choose.

The conference will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, at the Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 E. Cotton Center Blvd, Phoenix, AZ.

“We are issuing a call to build an Arizona for people of all ages,” says Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG). “We must intentionally design communities to make it easier for all residents to connect with all generations. This means providing opportunities for people of any age to interact socially, to be engaged in their communities, and to ensure access to resources that enable them to live in their own homes and communities for as long as they choose.”

The conference will include participation from local government leaders, health providers, nonprofits, and community planners.  It will focus on eight domains of livability developed by the AARP. These domains are based on universal needs that range from transportation to housing to social engagement. This framework is used by many of the towns, cities, counties, and states enrolled in the AARP network of Age-Friendly States and Communities to organize and prioritize aging initiatives. 

The conference will seek ways to integrate the health care community, transportation agencies, social services providers, governments, and members of the public in creating these community features. Grantmakers in Aging, a national membership organization of philanthropies, plans to use feedback from the conference to develop a national toolkit for use by other regions around the country. 

On a statewide basis, Arizona serves as a national model for many age-friendly activities. Age Friendly Arizona is a collaborative effort coordinated by MAG to support the independence and community growth of older adults and help enhance quality of life.

“While each of our communities has unique challenges based on our size and resources, what we have in common is more significant: that we are all here to serve people,” says Safford City Councilman Arnold Lopez, who serves on the Advisory Council on Aging for the Area Agency on Aging Region VI. “And all of us, as people, have similar priorities when it comes to enjoying the place where we live.”

Title sponsors for the event include Grantmakers in Aging and May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust. The Platinum Sponsor is AARP Arizona. Additional partners include Age Friendly Arizona, Arizona Public Health Association, Experience Matters, and Vitalyst Health Foundation (see draft program for additional sponsors and event information).