According to the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Boston’s population of older adults is expected to reach 125,000 by 2030—amounting to 19% of Boston’s population. In 2014, Boston joined the AARP/WHO Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The city released the Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan in May 2017, which includes 75 action items created through 25 listening sessions, involving over 4,000 older residents throughout Boston. The plan was developed in partnership with AARP, Tufts Health Plan Foundation, and UMass Boston.
The Age-Friendly Boston project works with the city’s public agencies, businesses, cultural, educational, and religious institutions, and community groups. The project’s goal is to adapt structures and services to be accessible and inclusive to residents of all ages and abilities.
The project is looking to improve these specific areas of life in Boston for older adults:
Safe, affordable housing that can be adapted to the residents as they get older
Affordable, accessible transportation that offers mobility options
Outdoor spaces and buildings
Accessible open spaces that offer comfort and independence
Community support and health services
A network of medical and non-medical services that promote well-being and quality of life
Civic engagement and employment
Provide opportunities for empowerment and purpose
Affordable activities and events that are accessible
Respect and social inclusion
Include older adults on community projects and initiatives
Communication and information
Effective distribution of information of interest to older adults
For more information about this initiative and what work they’ve accomplished to date, please visit www.boston.gov.