SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The two towns have been accepted into the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. This certification recognizes the two towns’ joint commitment to becoming more age-friendly and supporting residents as they age in place, according to SOMA Two Towns for All Ages.
Joining the AARP Network gives SOMA access to a leading resource for how to improve the livability of communities for people age 50-plus and their families, and ultimately help communities to become great places for everyone to live. Since South Orange and Maplewood have been focusing on age-friendly efforts for the past two years through the SOMA Two Towns for All Ages initiative, the towns were invited to apply to the AARP Network at Stage 2. Elected officials and many other community leaders already recognize and support age-friendly efforts, and each town has a Senior Advisory Committee to represent the voice of older residents in our community.
Members of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities become part of a global network of communities that are committed to giving their older residents the opportunity to live rewarding, productive and safe lives.
The benefits of this membership include: access to a global network of participating communities; access to research by aging and civil society experts; the latest news and information about best practices, events, results, challenges and new initiatives; opportunities to learn from other communities, both domestic and international; mentoring and peer-review evaluation by member cities; public recognition of the community’s commitment to become more age-friendly; and speaking engagements, conferences and events hosted by AARP and promotion through AARP’s media channels.
“The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, an international effort launched in 006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization,” AARP stated. “The program has participating communities in more than 20 nations, as well as 10 affiliates representing more than 1,000 communities.
“AARP’s participation in the program advances efforts to help people live easily and comfortably in their homes and communities as they age,” AARP continued. “AARP’s presence encourages older adults to take a more active role in their communities and have their voices heard. Initiatives focus on areas such as housing, caregiving, community engagement, volunteering, social inclusion and combating isolation among older citizens.”
The New Jersey Chapter of AARP will welcome the towns into this network at a reception on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 10:30 a.m. at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road in Maplewood. The event is open to the community but for planning purposes RSVP to 973-762-8120, ext. 4005, or Crowe@twp.Maplewood.nj.us.