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York County Takes Action to Improve Livability

York County Takes Action to Improve Livability

You deserve to live more easily in your home and community.

That’s why York County Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging, with the support of the York County Commissioners, is excited to announce the enrollment of York County in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity for all of us to work together to make real change for all residents of York County, which is why we want to hear from you.

I know what some people think, “An age-friendly community is a community for older people, so it doesn’t matter to me.”  But that’s wrong!

Per AARP, “People of all ages benefit from the adoption of policies and programs that make neighborhoods walkable, feature transportation options, enable access to key services, provide opportunities to participate in community activities, and support housing that’s affordable and adaptable.   Well-designed, age-friendly communities foster economic growth and make for happier, healthier residents of all ages.”

Being enrolled in this network means York County is working together to improve The 8 Domains of Livability outlined in the diagram, so that everyone can have a better quality of life.

A better quality of life could mean:

  • Employers have programs and policies in place that promote an age-inclusive workforce and consider qualified applicants of all ages for jobs
  • More ordinances are in place that support innovative housing options, like converting a garage or adding a tiny house to a property
  • There are plenty of paved surfaces wide enough for strollers and wheelchairs to travel safely and easily, with ample seating in shaded areas
  • Housing is close to a grocery store, doctor’s office, and public transportation stops
  • Outdoor spaces and public buildings are safe and accessible with plenty of parking
  • Decision-makers seek the perspectives and experiences of all ages in creating solutions

Why is this important?

Our community is stronger when we have people of all ages thriving.

Being an age-friendly community means we ask ourselves, “Does it work for people of all ages?” If it works for someone age 8 and age 80, it will most likely work for everyone.  When we apply this thinking, York County benefits from the wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and energy achieved from being an age-equitable community.

Our enrollment in this network means York County can learn with other communities throughout the nation, share expertise, and receive technical assistance to help us in this work.  Most important, it lifts the profile of York County, making us a more attractive destination for new commerce and residents.

How is York County taking action?

Many stakeholders are doing great things to make York County a better place to live.  We are honored to partner with them in this work and have them be recognized for their contributions.

We are engaging with planners, business leaders, non-profit organizations, healthcare, academia, senior centers, and municipalities to discuss goals we will commit to over the next 3 years to make York County more livable.

The goals, along with key activities and timeline, will be included in York County’s Action and Evaluation Plan.  The plan also includes metrics to capture baseline data and the degree of change to be achieved because of this work.

This is where YOU come in. 

We want you to be part of this unique and exciting opportunity for all of us to work together to make real change for all residents of York County.

Embracing Aging wants to talk to you if you:

  1. Represent a stakeholder group working on goals that align with topics in The 8 Domains of Livability diagram
  2. Are a resident with ideas on how to make York County a great place to grow up and grow older

York County’s Action and Evaluation Plan will be submitted to AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities by mid-July.  Contact Cathy Bollinger, managing director of Embracing Aging at cbollinger@yccf.org or 717.848.3733 to learn more.

Once the plan is submitted to the network, it will be made available online, along with periodic updates.

To learn more about this enrollment, visit www.yccf.org/age-friendly and https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/network-age-friendly-communities/.

Cathy Bollinger
Cathy Bollinger
Managing Director of Embracing Aging, York County Community Foundation

York County Community Foundation’s Embracing Aging improves how people experience aging by making people aware of ageism and its impact and helping organizations be more age friendly. Contact Cathy Bollinger, at cbollinger@yccf.org or 717-848-3733 to learn more about our free resources to disrupt ageism and to join our movement to usher in a new age in York County.