When Governor Charlie Baker announced in January 2018 that Massachusetts had enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, it became the second state in the nation to do so. (New York had joined a month earlier.)
The AARP network requires a commitment from elected leadership to work actively toward making the state a great place to live for people of all ages.
In 2017, Gov. Baker established the Governor's Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, which focuses on promoting healthy aging and making the Commonwealth an age-friendly state for people of all ages. The council brings together leaders from the aging, business, government, nonprofit, technology, education, transportation, housing and health care sectors to advise Baker's administration on innovative policies and best practices to support and engage older residents.
Adults ages 60 and older are the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population and will make up 23 percent of Massachusetts' population by 2035.
"AARP's age friendly network encourages states, counties, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population. The network encourages states and communities to take action and pay increased attention to the environmental, economic and social features that encourage greater age integration and diversity and create a community that supports residents from the cradle through retirement," said Nancy LeaMond, Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer for AARP.
Massachusetts already has a significant head start in its age-friendly efforts. Boston has been in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities network 2014. At the start of 2018, more than a dozen communities had already signed on as members.
Article published February 2018