The World Health Organization Age-Friendly DC was pleased to join the December 13, 2017 session of #ElderCareChat, with coordinator Gail Kohn serving as an expert panelist. Kohn engaged 25 participants in a thought-provoking Twitter conversation about the importance of age-friendly communities, and steps we can take to create an inclusive and accessible environment for residents of all ages.
The hour-long #ElderCareChat highlighted the World Health Organization Age Friendly DC’s goal that all residents be active, connected, engaged, healthy, and happy in their environment.
The Twitter session, which generated more than 2 million impressions, fleshed out the concept of an age-friendly community, defining it as a place where you can live, work, and play—regardless of your abilities.
Here’s why it matters: The aging population is rapidly increasing, which means we must be proactive in preparing for the future. As one participant tweeted, “The silver tsunami has started. More and more people will be looking to move to affordable, accessible living places.”
Fortunately, preparation has begun in many places. Participants shared stories of age-friendly programs and practices in their communities, such as local gyms and community centers that offer free or discounted memberships and specialized classes geared toward active aging.
Of course, we all have age-friendly wish lists for our own communities. For its part, DC is working to build on the progress it has made in the last five years, particularly in the areas of providing more affordable housing, focusing on lifelong learning, and changing attitudes about growing older.
And we as individuals can play a role in making our communities more age-friendly. As Kohn shared, even simple steps like getting to know your neighbors, both young and old, can make a difference. “There is plenty for all of us to do,” she tweeted. “Engage with others of all ages.”
Here are some highlights of the discussion that took place over the #ElderCareChat hour (scroll through to view all):
Stay tuned to @OurParents Twitter handle for further details.