AFS Blog

Assets and aspirations drive Age-Friendly Sarasota

Posted on September 13, 2016 | by Kathy Black
Assets and aspirations drive Age-Friendly Sarasota

The letter “A” in the Age-Friendly Sarasota values statement “FOR ALL AGES,” stands for assets and aspirations – and represents one of our guiding principles.

Assets...whether as individuals, organizations or in community, can be so affirming  - and Sarasota County residents should be proud of its existing age-friendly assets across all domains of livability.

Here’s an example of an asset in the area of housing:

In December 2015, Sarasota County passed a municipal resolution for a voluntary universal design and visitability program for residential housing. This provision aims to encourage builders to increase the development and housing stock of accessible units over time via use of checklists of standards.

The program is voluntary, and the implementation of the program is cost-neutral to the local government, requiring easily executed steps to integrate into existing practices. The resolution represents the dedication and collaboration of many people and groups including the local Universal Design Coalition, building industry, and county government.

Aspirations speak to our hopes and ambitions. Sarasota County residents should be even more excited about the age-friendly aspirations reported by nearly 1,200 people age 50 and older who participated in our community study. Below are aspirations shared by domains:

Respect & Social Inclusion

-is handicapped accessible…eventually all of us will have some kind of handicap as we age

-allows all the people to participate if they will benefit and if they are willing

Housing

- supports being able to live the way that we want to live in the location that we want to live in

- does whatever can be done to allow people to continue to live where they want to live

Social Participation

- supports the idea that people feel part of the community regardless of their age

- means different generations or different people of different ages have different ways of connecting and living

- helps the older generation stay connected

- has structures in place where people can go to connect with other people

Civic Participation and Employment

- recognizes abilities to volunteer

- enhances and supports the quality of life of people as they age

Community Services and Health Supports

- has some specialized adaptions to needs at later life

- has support, when people need support, whatever it is

- feels like you have someone you can count on

Transportation and Mobility

- takes into consideration that people like to walk

- applies to all ages because things that make the community friendly for older people also work for younger people if properly designed...we all want to safely cross streets

- helps people get around, have a better quality of life…. much more important than quantity of life

Open Spaces and Public Buildings

- considers that older people like to go out…

- is available to all ages and helps people to enjoy living because it is a great place for all

- has the infrastructure to walk to local shops…

Communication and Information

- has facilities, public services, and social structure in which all people, at any age, are fully informed

- raises attention to the current and potential needs of the aging population…. so the education can benefit everyone

- has information available…at any given time, for whatever age-related issue…to find information on what is needed, where to go, what to do, how to handle things

Read more about what people say are the most important features for an age-friendly community.


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