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Washington, DC Picked as a Top City in Age-Friendly Policies

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Mayor Bowser Accepts Recognition from World Health Organization and AARP

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser accepted an award from the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP, recognizing the release of the city’s rigorous, metric-driven five-year Age-Friendly City progress report. Washington, DC is one of a handful of cities worldwide to receive this level of recognition as an Age-Friendly City. The Mayor was joined by Dr. John Beard, Director of Aging and Life Course Development at the World Health Organization, and representatives from the national and DC chapters of AARP.

“As our neighborhoods continue to thrive and our city continues to grow, the Age-Friendly DC initiative has brought our community together and helped us build a safer, stronger city for residents of every age,” said Mayor Bowser. “My Administration is committed to ensuring Washington, DC remains a city where residents of every age – whether they’re 100 days old or 100 years old – can live and thrive.”

In the past decade, the number of Washingtonians over the age of 60 has grown by nearly 15,000, and this population is expected to continue growing. Age-Friendly DC is a coordinated and comprehensive initiative to ensure District residents of all ages are active, connected, healthy, and engaged. Mayor Bowser has been a longtime champion of the Age-Friendly initiative, and in 2012, then-Councilmember Bowser led the District’s effort to participate in the intiative.

Since the launch of DC’s Age-Friendly initiative, the District has:

  • launched the Safe at Home Program to help seniors with home modifications and assist with private security camera installations;
  • broke ground on Plaza West, which will provide 223 units of affordable rental housing, including 50 units reserved for grandfamilies – grandparents raising grandchildren;
  • piloted an intergenerational gardening program to maintain school gardens over the summer;
  • recognized 43 local businesses as Age-Friendly Businesses, spread out across all eight wards;
  • launched the Alternative Pathways to Employment Program to refresh the job skills of residents who are 50 years old or older and place participants with employment opportunities;
  • trained approximately 200 direct service providers in LGBTQ cultural competency; and,
  • provided “Senior$afe” training to financial securities firm personnel on how to spot and report financial exploitation of seniors

“Washington, DC, deserves our congratulations for its leadership and achievement as a five-year Age-Friendly City, ensuring the District is a livable community for all ages in the years to come,” said Dr. John Beard.

The progress report addresses eight domains recommended as part of the WHO Age-Friendly City programs and two focus areas – emergency preparedness and elder abuse – that the District chose to add. The full report is available at