Age-Friendly Sarasota is actively engaging the community in building a movement for all ages throughout Sarasota County and beyond. Here are some of the major milestones to date along the community's age-friendly journey.
Aging with Dignity and Independence Initiative Learnings
January 2011 – December 2014
Prior to supporting Age-Friendly Sarasota, The Patterson Foundation worked with Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE) in partnership with the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee to explore new ways for communities to respond to an aging population — taking the preferences and needs of older adults and caregivers into account to achieve a community that supports people aging independently. The Patterson Foundation strengthened this work by facilitating collaborative projects involving groups throughout Sarasota. Researchers produced a manuscript that was published in Ageing & Society, an international journal. Project partners also shared insights and data with local community agencies, which are taking steps to fulfill the aspirations of Sarasota’s older adults based on the initiative’s findings.
Old Enough to Know Better — Florida Studio Theatre
Presented by Florida Studio Theatre, “Old Enough to Know Better” was a docudrama that brought experiences in aging to life. The production’s vignettes, which illustrated relatable themes such as the importance of companionship and reflections on one’s lifetime, were inspired by the stories of nearly 100 people throughout the community. Post-show panel discussions offered a deeper dive into the performance’s topics and covered other poignant age-related issues.
More than two dozen thought leaders in Sarasota County convened to hear author Beth Baker share innovations in age-friendly housing being applied throughout the nation. Baker, who is the author of With a Little Help from Our Friends: Creating Community as We Age, spoke to leading members of the real estate, building, and construction industries as well as government and housing representatives. During the event, which was funded in part by The Patterson Foundation, Baker discussed concepts such as aging in place, co-housing, shared housing, affinity housing, and many other new ways of living together later in life.
Dr. Rodney Harrell, director of Livable Communities for the AARP Public Policy Institute and lead architect of AARP’s online Livability Index tool, shared livability insights impacting quality of life for all ages with several groups of community leaders. Dr. Harrell led workshops with urban planners from throughout Sarasota County on optimizing community features — particularly its built environment and infrastructure. Following the workshops, Dr. Harrell shared learnings from AARP’s national livability research with local leaders. Residents had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Harrell and learn more during a public forum rounding out the first day of his visit. Lastly, neighborhood leaders participated in an innovative workshop with Dr. Harrell in partnership with SCOPE to infuse livability innovations into the places residents live, work, and play.
Leaders representing 15 communities across Florida met in Sarasota for this two-day event, hosted by AARP Florida and Age-Friendly Sarasota and supported by The Patterson Foundation. The Symposium, a first-of-its-kind Age-Friendly Florida gathering of representatives from Florida’s new and emerging age-friendly cities and communities, provided attendees with opportunities to connect and share their experiences while learning from others working toward community enhancements benefiting people of all ages.
In honor of National County Government Month, representatives from Sarasota County Government presented on the practices and programs that enhance the community’s quality and promote well-being at any age. Local residents learned about the services and resources that make Sarasota County a vibrant community for people of all ages during this day-long event.