June 17, 2008

How Prepared Is the Charlotte Region to Handle the Aging Boom?


Contact: Irene Garnett of Partners, +1-202-887-5990 x109, [email protected]; Ted Mitchell of MetLife Foundation, +1-401- 827-3236, [email protected]; Helen Eltzeroth of n4a, (202) 872- 0888, [email protected]

Innovators to Hold Discussion on 'Aging in Place' at Byrons Southend

CHARLOTTE, N.C.,June 17/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As part of the national movement to promote the Aging in Place initiative, which is aimed at helping older Americans remain in their communities, the city of Charlotte has been selected to host the sixth of six national workshops sponsored by MetLife Foundation, Partners for Livable Communities (Partners), and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a). The workshop, Land Use Planning and Design: Creating a Livable Community in the Centralina Region for All Ages, will be co-hosted by the Centralina Council of Governments and the Centralina Area Agency on Aging. The workshop will be held at the Byrons Southend on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The local discussion will complement the dynamic national conversation taking place on aging, and will highlight the creative work already occurring in Charlotte to make it a first-rate place for all age groups. The workshop is a unique opportunity for Centralina to begin looking at the region and to hear the steps that other communities have taken to create livable communities.

With the Centralina region approaching the 2.4 million population mark in 2020, local leaders are calling for strategies to help strengthen Aging in Place services. Workshop speakers and panelists will focus on ways to address physical environment issues like housing and transportation.

With a staggering increase in the over-sixty population in our nine counties between the year 2000 and 2030, it is critical that our communities get serious about addressing changes needed in our communities for this population growth, said Gayla Woody, aging program administrator of the Centralina Area Agency on Aging. The changes cant happen overnight, but with thoughtful planning and consideration, our communities will be livable communities for all.

Creating livable communities involves all aspects of community living, and land use planning and design is key in the development process, said Sandy Markwood, CEO of n4a. Because of the efforts of communities like Centralina, communities can become good places to live for all ages.

At the workshop, participants will learn how to apply for small JumpStart the Conversation grants, which will be given to support innovative ideas that further the concept of land use planning and design.

Through the workshop and grant opportunities, communities will gain a renewed sense of urgency when it comes to considering community livability for all ages, said Robert McNulty, president of Partners. Were looking to bring together an energized group of organizations and individuals in order to face the challenges that accompany this time of change.

We are pleased to support the Aging in Place initiative, which encourages organizations to think creatively about how to better address the needs of older adults, said Sibyl Jacobson, president of MetLife Foundation. These ongoing conversations benefit all of us, and will help create livable communities for people of all ages.

MetLife Foundation -- Established in 1976 by MetLife for the purpose of supporting education, health, civic and cultural organizations. In aging, MetLife funds programs that support healthy aging and address caregiving issues, intergenerational activities, mental fitness and volunteerism. For more information, visit www.metlife.org

Partners for Livable Communities (Partners) -- A national, nonprofit organization working to renew communities for all ages. For more information, visit www.livable.com

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) - A leading voice on aging issues for Area Agencies on Aging across the country and Title VI Native American aging programs. For more information, visit www.n4a.org.

For more information on the Aging in Place Initiative, visit www.aginginplaceinitiative.org


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