Within the next 20 years, the nation as a whole will experience a significant increase in the number of older adults. New York City’s population of older adults age 60+ is expected to increase by nearly 50 percent in the next two decades. In order to prepare for this upcoming age shift, Age-Friendly NYC and the New York Academy of Medicine created this toolkit as a guide for establishing Aging Improvement Districts in neighborhoods across the country.
The toolkit addresses common improvements that need to be made in many communities to enhance their age-friendliness and improve the quality of life of older residents. An outline of the necessary steps for creating Aging Improvement Districts is provided in the toolkit, serving as a resource for planners seeking to establish one in their area. Each step of the process is explained in detail in the toolkit and includes the following:
- Building support from all sectors-creating an Aging Improvement District is a community effort but must begin with clear leadership from a community organization and involve key community members that will work to accomplish the overarching goals of the Aging Improvement District.
- Assessing the community, conduct community consultations to identify challenges and solutions specific to seniors in the community.
- Implementing changes, share findings with the community and develop an action plan that addresses inadequacies in the community.
- Raising awareness in and around the community, attract positive media attention to highlight successes of the Aging Improvement District.
- Reassessing work done and progress made, evaluate the impact of the Aging Improvement District in terms of concrete changes made in the community that support healthy aging in place and the level of involvement among older adults in the community.
How to Use
This toolkit provides a useful resource for planners, community leaders, and local officials seeking to implement Aging Improvement Districts to accommodate older adults’ housing, mobility, and social needs. Guidelines for conducting effective community consultations, tips for running Aging Improvement District meetings, and potential community consultation sites, among other resources, are provided in the toolkit for community leaders and local officials looking for ways to establish Aging Improvement Districts in their area.