Leading the Way Toward an Age-Friendly Florida
Age-Friendly Sarasota continues to lead the state’s age-friendly community network. There are seven age-friendly communities in Florida --Tallahassee, Winter Haven, St. Petersburg, Hallandale Beach, Coral Springs, Cutler Bay and Pembroke Pines -- but Sarasota will always be Florida’s first World Health Organization age-friendly community.
Age-Friendly Sarasota recently presented a session on creating age-friendly communities at the Florida Council on Aging’s annual conference in Orlando. The 46 communities that attended the event expressed great interest about the program- and many more indicated intentions to achieve the age-friendly designation as well. Several communities appear on the cusp of applying: Pinellas County, Bonita Springs, Jacksonville, Winter Park, and Lakeland.
The session was co-presented with partners Laura Cantwell from AARP Florida and Kathy Hyer from the USF Policy Exchange Center on Aging. Content covered every step of the process including the baseline research phase, action planning and implementation as well as efforts underway in Sarasota.
Attendees appreciated The Patterson Foundation’s multi-sector approach that engages government, nonprofits, businesses, media and the broader community to co-create the blueprint for longevity. Attendees also echoed the big, hairy, and audacious goal we posed: to make Florida the nation’s first age-friendly state!
Stay tuned to follow us on our collective age-friendly journey that promotes active, healthy and engaged living across all life stages and abilities – to be a great community for all ages. Next month, Age-Friendly Sarasota and AARP will host a statewide Sharing Symposium. With a focus on the future, we are all in – and supporting other statewide communities along the way.