Age Friendly Lakeland, a committee of Lakeland Vision, has been many years in the making. In 2010 The Lakeland Leadership Council on Seniors was formed bringing together community stakeholders and service providers focused on the aging population. Later, Mayor Wiggs adopted the council as a task force making senior issues a priority. Over the years, this group has provided a valuable forum for identifying and discussing issues relevant to older adults and their families, but in 2016 the group decided it was ready for action and joined the AARP Age Friendly Network , an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities program. In March 2017 Lakeland received the designation of an Age Friendly community from AARP.
The Age Friendly evaluation process focuses on the surveying and engagement of public officials, community partners, businesses and residents at the local level to plan for and enact community changes using the eight domains of livability as identified by the World Health Organization. The Lakeland survey was conducted throughout 2018 and based on those results an Action Plan was established and submitted to AARP in 2019. Implementation of the Action Plan is just beginning, and the newly formed Age Friendly Lakeland has begun its work. At Age Friendly Lakeland volunteers are always welcome. We would love to hear from you!
What Is Age Friendly?
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities encourages states, cities, towns and rural areas to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults. Launched in April 2012, the network operates under the auspices of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program.
Who facilitates the Age Friendly Initiative in Florida?
AARP Florida facilitates the Age Friendly Communities initiative in our state and partners with the Florida State Department of Elder Affairs.
The Florida State Department of Elder Affairs has a “Communities for a Lifetime” initiative that has set the stage for success through a similar thought process and messaging. “Communities for a Lifetime” (CFAL) aims to make all communities a safe and nurturing place for people of all ages, especially older adults. CFAL helps cities, towns, and counties improve the lives of their residents through continuous assessment and improvement, while promoting a spirit of community.
*** In September 2014 The City of Lakeland was awarded the Community for a Lifetime designation.
Where can I find a list of other Florida Age Friendly Communities?
As of May 2019, there are 25 Age Friendly Communities in the state of Florida including Lakeland and Winter Haven. View the complete list here.
Age Friendly in the United States
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities serves as a catalyst to educate, encourage, promote and recognize improvements that make communities supportive for residents of all ages. The network provides cities, towns, counties and states throughout the U.S. with the resources to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models and best practices.
As the population of the United States ages and people live healthier, more active and longer lives, communities must adapt. Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents — of all ages.
Browse the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities here.
Age Friendly Global
The WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities aims to stimulate and enable cities and communities around the world to become increasingly age-friendly. It seeks to do this by inspiring change by showing what can be done and how it can be done; connecting cities and communities worldwide to facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experience; and supporting cities and communities to find appropriate innovative and evidence-based solutions.
Browse the Age Friendly Global Network here.