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What Is A Lifelong Community...And Why?
Living longer is one of the many great benefits of living in this century, but becoming healthy and staying healthy are essential elements to maintaining a high quality of life. There are various key components involved in successfully creating a "Lifelong Community" ranging from housing and medical needs to community partnerships and social interaction. What surprises many individuals is the importance of social interaction for older Americans. Isolation can dramatically increase negative physical/mental health, and isolation problems. Over the years Clayton County Senior Services has implemented various programs that address these very important aspects of a Lifelong Community for seniors.
It has been projected that by 2030, one out of every five residents in Atlanta will be over age 60. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has developed a Lifelong Community's Initiative to address this shift in aging. ARC has incorporated seven principlesto help community leaders, planners, developers, and citizens create goals for a Lifelong Community. Clayton County is one, among various other metro-Atlanta counties, that is working to develop communities, and restructure policies that will to assist in facilitating the needs of its older population, as addressed by the Lifelong Community's plan.
There are three goals for a "Lifelong Community":
1) Promoting housing and transportation options
2) Encouraging healthy lifestyles
3) Expanding information and access to services
"The face of Aging is dramatically changing because of longevity, improved health status, and changes in families and communities. In the new age of Aging, in the face of scarce resources and a growing population of older adults, it takes a team of leaders with shared vision and strong commitments to address the challenges before us. The "Lifelong Clayton" Initiative will convene such teams to address the needs of the present, and to plan for the emerging needs of tomorrow."
Quote by Mary Byrd, Director of Clayton County Senior Services
Our senior population is one of this county's most valuable treasures. They serve as a lifeline to our history; reminder of life's sacrd timeline; and provide us with a glimpse into our future. Therefore, we must be proactive and creative when developing lifelong commuities that address the unique needs of our senior residents.
In 2011 Clayton County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC), under the leadership of Chariman Eldrin Bell, adopted a resolution to support the principles and goals of the Lifelong Community. Chairman Bell then established a Lifelong Clayton Steering Committee. The committee under the umbrella of the county's Senior Services Department will work to ensure that there exist cross collaboration and cross planning among departments and municipalities when addressing the needs of the senior population in conjunction with the needs and benefits for the entire Clayton County community.