Age-Friendly Effort Made Strides
By: Michael Stinziano
Originally published in The Columbus Dispatch
As reported in the Tuesday Dispatch.com article “Group releases blueprint to make Columbus more ‘age-friendly,’” the culmination of a two-year process has led to a strategic plan to position Columbus as a national leader in adopting an “aging lens” in the services and activities spread throughout the city.
Implementation and adoption of the strategic plan will result in the review of businesses, public spaces, parks, and policy processes to ensure that we are facilitating inclusive-planning efforts within city.
As one of the co-chairs of the initiative, I am honored to have taken part in what served as a model for community engagement — through surveys, focus groups, neighborhood meetings, inclusive planning — this process was truly planned with and not simply for our older adults. Hearing directly from our older residents served as both a challenge and a major strength of the initiative’s work. It always takes time to build relationships and earn trust, but I am confident that Age-Friendly Columbus set a foundation where we are now all working together to becoming a truly age-friendly city.
I want to recognize the commitment countless individual residents have made to support our community, including caregivers, community leaders and Columbus older adults. Through the support of The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, Franklin County Office on Aging, Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging, the Ohio State University College of Social Work, National Church Residences, and AARP Ohio, and under the direction and leadership of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, we have accomplished a great deal.
For success, we need everyone to continue to engage with our age-friendly efforts, by volunteering, participating in focus groups, or serving as ambassadors. Please visit www.agefriendlycolumbus.org to learn more about the strategic plan. Together we can build this city for young and old.