Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
Washington DC United States of America
On October 3, 2012, Mayor Gray reaffirmed his commitment to preserving the independence of aging District residents and improving the lives of persons 50 years of age and older by pursuing admission into the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. An age-friendly city is one that is inclusive, accessible and encourages active and healthy living for all residents.
In addition to the eight Age-Friendly domains outlined by WHO, Age-Friendly DC identified two DC-specific domains that reflect the unique values, issues and challenges of District residents. Those DC-specific domains are emergency preparedness and resilience, and elder abuse, neglect and fraud.
The Age-Friendly DC Task Force was established through a Mayor’s Order appointing 23 voting members including eleven community members each with extensive knowledge in at least one domain, and twelve District Government cabinet members. The Task Force is co-chaired by the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and George Washington University President Steven Knapp.
Since its establishment, Age-Friendly DC has heard from nearly 3,500 mostly older residents partnering with the DC Office on Aging and AARP-DC. The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), in their role as advisor to numerous Age-Friendly Cities internationally, was engaged to examine and analyze the District’s data from these sources.
Between March and September 2014, 104 of 296 Single Member Districts were walked by more than 500 stakeholders with the goal of identifying assets or issues needing attention through the lens of older DC residents. The data collected on these walks have added new perspective to the goals and objectives and have provided anecdotal evidence to validate the Task Force’s Recommendations, which were submitted to the Mayor for his review in October 2014.