York County has the potential to become a great place for people to age well, according to York County Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging Initiative. A report from the Embracing Aging Committee with specific strategies on the topic will be released on October 17 at the Penn State Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s Founders’ Luncheon at Penn State York and will be made available to the public. The Embracing Aging Initiative set out to examine what makes a community livable for all ages with the goal of dispelling negative views on aging and creating a strong network of services and amenities that help people age well and improve the quality of life for all York Countians.
York County, along with communities throughout the nation, is preparing for a rising number of baby boomers seeking to retire. As this most populous demographic enters into this phase of their lives, the challenge for York County will be to retain these aging boomers as vibrant, active members of our community while meeting their changing needs. This “age wave” inspires York County to compete for the relatively new designation as an “age-friendly” community. But what exactly is an “age-friendly” community and how can it be applied to York? With the help of Partners for Livable Communities, a nationally recognized leader in the field, the Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging Committee examined best practices, conducted focus groups and evaluated surveys of York County’s older adults. The concept of a livable community for all ages makes workplaces, schools, cultural activities and neighborhoods accessible to people of all ages. It supports a strong, coordinated network of amenities and services to meet the spectrum of needs of the 50+ demographic. It also is a place where people view aging more positively and the economy thrives because it is a desirable place to live and visit.
The roots for the Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging Initiative are 100 years old: In 1913, Anna Gardner bequeathed her estate to create her legacy that today continues through the work of the Embracing Aging committee of York County Community Foundation.