Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Auburn Hills, MI United States of America
Two years ago the City of Auburn Hills began to take an active interest and commitment to becoming a community that is not only age friendly, but a community for all ages and disabilities. A group comprising of city staff and community volunteers embarked on a yearlong adventure interviewing seniors in the community. This process was done using the State of Michigan’s Community for a Lifetime assessment tool. This effort revealed many positive contributions seniors make in our community, highlighted a range of chore services offered to seniors; community events promoting inclusion, civic participation and an extensive walkway system. In addition, gaps in service areas or needs were identified. In 2013 the City of Auburn Hills was designated a Community for a Lifetime by Michigan Office of Services to the Aging. Understanding that more information was needed and that there are many partners in a community that is and will be impacted by the aging population the city determined it was necessary to continue asking questions, and looking for the gems and gaps.
With this designation, and commitment to continue to make Auburn Hills a great place to age, the City was accepted into the network, joining others across the country and world who recognize the importance and impact of the demographic changes and the diverse needs of an aging population. A leadership team was developed, being led by the Senior Services Director and Community Development Director. Other members for the Leadership Team include our partner AARP state office, Planning Commission, City Deputy Treasurer, City Manager’s Office, Legislative and Community Affairs Coordinator, Assistant City Planner, Director of Quality of Life Services, Community Development Staff and Senior Services staff.
The process is still in its beginning stages. There are numerous community planning meetings. These meetings are being held in various parts of the city and the senior bus will be offering transportation. The community survey is being finalized, and will be mailed out to all registered voters age 51 and older.
Community partnerships with business and service organizations are beginning to be formed so they too may become part of the process.