Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
City of Salem United States of America
The City of Salem is committed to creating a community that all persons shall fully experience the life of the city, this was further articulated in Chapter 97 of the Salem Revised Code. For over four decades the City utilizes an active Human Rights and Relations Advisory Commission to intentionally implement this vision. Commission members work both proactively and reactively to develop intergroup relations, examine sources of tension and recommend policy to help all persons in Salem. Age discrimination is prohibited in Salem; City staff and volunteers are on hand to receive concerns and complaints and to assist as appropriate. About two years ago, the Commission held two community forums aimed at learning about issues facing persons age 50+ in the community; Commissioners learned of concerns with consumer and telephonic fraud, employment desires and other topics. The particular support to the needs of older adults began prior to Chapter 97 when the City of Salem partnered with the older adult community members of Salem in 1976 to open a Senior Center. This multipurpose Senior Center has been identified as a Community Focal Point Center with the mission to offer programs, services, resources, information and assistance to the older adults of Salem and their families. While local transit currently does not offer Saturday, Sunday or Late Evening Service, there is an effective Para-Transit program which does offer door-to-door service weekdays. Salem has housing options such as assisted living and senior living facilities, adult foster homes, and low-income housing options through City Housing Authority, Polk and Marion County Housing Authorities, and Salem Habitat for Humanity. For social engagement Salem has an active Older Adult Community Center, Center 50+ partially funded by the City of Salem offers over 200 different programs, activities, services in addition to a home repair service, Friendly Caller Program, Home visitor program, Respite Day Program, congregate meal-site. Salem/Keizer also has two independent non-profit Senior Centers—membership required. The Library, Willamette University, Salem Health, Court House Athletic Club, a large Faith Community, and several 55+ housing/Mobile Home/Apartment developments, Marion Polk Foodshare/Meals-on-Wheels, Alzheimer’s Association, Alz Net of Oregon, and Northwest Senior and Disabled Services all contribute to the wide variety of opportunities available in the community. The plan is to complete a community-wide assessment and involve key community leaders, stakeholders and relevant experts in the development and implementation of a work plan based on the livability findings.