AFS Blog

Age-Friendly Sarasota Action Plan Progress Report Released

Posted on July 19, 2018 | by Bob Carter
Age-Friendly Sarasota Action Plan Progress Report Released

A draft of Sarasota County’s Age-Friendly Action Plan Progress Report is now ready for review. It’s posted on the Age-Friendly Sarasota website awaiting your thoughts and comments now through August 17, 2018 – a final progress report will be compiled and shared.

While expertly compiled and drafted by our local gerontologist extraordinaire Kathy Black, PhD., the action plan and progress report are a community-owned effort and document worthy of our time and attention.

Now please let me digress just a bit for some context and background.

My favorite folk song (maybe favorite song) is “This Land is Your Land” written by Woody Guthrie in 1951. It’s been shared over the generations by many recording artists including Pete Seeger; Peter, Paul & Mary; Bruce Springsteen; and Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings.

For me, its meaning goes beyond our glorious geographic landscape and topography. It’s about the uniqueness of our country, its communities, and people – who we are and what we have and can continue to accomplish together.

Local demographics are an essential part of this, including the impact of people living longer during the last century. The World Health Organization (WHO), recognizing the important significance of this on local communities, established a global network of age-friendly communities. Its goal is to promote age-friendly thought-leadership and future planning at the local community level. Sarasota County became Florida’s first community to join this global movement in 2015. Besides having a unique geographic beauty, for people ages 1–100+, Sarasota County also has a unique demographic beauty — a rare population mix that is one-third under 35 and one-third over 65.

Our county’s age-related symmetry can be a great asset, but it also requires thoughtful engagement, planning, and collaboration to excel. Age-Friendly Sarasota was established with this in mind. Much has happened so far – from the initial Proclamation by the County Commission with the vital support of The Patterson Foundation, through the work of previously mentioned Kathy Black, Ph.D., and the contributions and collaborative efforts of so many other individuals, nonprofits, businesses, media, and the government. Our community has been a significant part of this entire effort from the initial survey and focus groups to the participation of thousands in the first Age-Friendly Festival in United States history.

Together, let’s celebrate another milestone in this journey – the first year of implementation of our community’s initial Age-Friendly Action Plan with the release of the Draft Progress Report. It includes goals, objectives, and strategies achieved across the broad domains of our local infrastructures, resources, and social environments which influence health and quality of life.

This is another opportunity for each of us to share our thoughts and provide input into the Progress Report. Let us know how you, your organization, or business is making our community more age-friendly in any of the areas of community life. It’s as easy as clicking this link.

Being age-friendly is an ongoing community effort, and we all have a stake in it. Visit the Age-Friendly Sarasota website and explore the possibilities.

Remember the refrain in the song mentioned earlier in this blog: “This land is made for you and me.” This community is made by you and me. Let’s all help make it the best we can #ForAllAges. Your input will help get us there.



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