The United States is experiencing an unprecedented demographic change. The number of people over the age of 60 is expected to more than double between 2000 and 2030. Here in Boulder County older adults will account for about 25% of the total county population by 2030, an increase from about 15% in 2012.
These changing demographics are likely to fundamentally change business as usual in cities and counties across the country. This rapid growth in our older adult demographic presents new challenges and opportunities for creating and sustaining vibrant, healthy communities.
A livable community provides a safety net that ensures that the basic needs for housing, safety, food, and access to essential services are met. Essential services that are affordable, appropriate and accessible contribute to a high quality of life, personal safety, and well-being.
In a vibrant, livable community, people engage in service, volunteer, maintain connections, and participate in social, civic, cultural, educational, and recreational activities. A vibrant, livable community values older adults and makes aging well a community priority.
A vibrant, age-friendly community promotes healthy behaviors and supports community activities that enhance well-being. Access to affordable wellness services, including preventive care, mental health, and palliative care services, as well as appropriate fitness programs, is essential.
A vibrant, age-friendly community supports a person’s choice to live at home – safely and comfortably. Communities provide support, education, and respite to help family caregivers. Communities also show foresight in planning and design of streets and neighborhoods and engage in land use policy that keeps the aging of the population in mind.