Exciting new data and resources are available to support the work of Community Development Corporations to foster vibrant, healthy and thriving cities and towns across the state as well as help make connections to the growing Age- and Dementia Friendly movement.
The updated Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report includes “Community Profiles” reporting healthy aging indicators for all 351 cities and towns in the state (along with neighborhoods of Boston, Worcester and Springfield). The report also includes interactive maps with chronic disease indicators and customizable state maps on 12 data themes including “economic and housing variables,” “wellness and prevention,” and “safety and transportation.” These resources can be valuable in advancing conversations about what communities can do to become better places to grow up and grow old.
Massachusetts is proving itself a leader in the age- and dementia-friendly movement. So far nearly 40 Massachusetts cities and towns have earned the Age-Friendly designation from AARP or the World Health Organization—and Massachusetts is one of only three Age-Friendly States. My previous blog post outlined the natural connection between Age- and Dementia Friendly Communities and the work of CDCs. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative is eager to be an ally in this work.
The second resource is an Economic Development Workbook developed by AARP as the sixth and final installment of a “Roadmap to Livability” workbook series. The booklet explains the economic benefit of being designated age-friendly. It also dives into smart growth and public health principles, along with examples from across the country of how being age-friendly improves the local economy and livability.
Finally, in their latest Best Practice Series, the Massachusetts Municipal Association includes recommendations and resources to help guide a community to update its bylaws relative to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). Accessory dwelling units are a second dwelling unit on a single-family residential lot and can be a significant piece of a municipality’s solution to help older adults Age in Community.
If you have questions or want more information, contact me:
We look forward to engaging more CDCs to help people of all ages thrive in Massachusetts.