Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Maplewood United States of America
Recognizing the increasing number of residents over 60 and the desire to keep long-term residents in our communities, South Orange and Maplewood (SOMA) launched “Two Towns for All Ages.” Under this new initiative, SOMA is taking a proactive approach to foster healthy aging and enable residents to age in place. Since the initial needs assessment and inception of the program, SOMA Two Towns for All Ages has built a multi-prong communications platform to connect seniors with community events and activities that promote inclusion. We first focused on making people aware of available senior services and programming. To improve senior inclusion, we developed age-friendly guidelines for community events, and work with organizations to implement strategies that make it easier for older residents to attend. We have developed two regular intergenerational events that address unmet needs in the community and highlight the role of seniors as community leaders – Repair Café and an annual Volunteer Fair. We work with local businesses to offer a discount program for seniors. With the help of a transportation consultant, we are working to expand options for seniors by offering a subsidy for private options, held a transportation fair and developed a comprehensive Transportation Guide. Our next areas of focus will be a comprehensive Resource Guide and a Housing Forum, both geared toward helping people age in place. In addition, we continue to work with multiple municipal offices and community groups with overlapping interests, such as walkability. See attached Volunteer Directory, Transportation Guide and Classic Card Directory as examples.