Pittsburgh and Allegheny County recently joined the network of Age-Friendly Cities, which means that local stakeholders are working together to identify the issues that affect older residents locally and develop solutions together. Being an “age-friendly” community means that we are a community for everyone, with walkable streets, good transportation options, opportunities to engage with others, spaces to enjoy nature and get exercise, and homes that people can live in as they age. Lawrenceville has many of these assets already, and AdvantAGE is working to make sure that Lawrenceville remains a neighborhood for all ages.
Outdoor Spaces and “Third Spaces”
People need public places to gather — indoors and out. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings (think elevators, stairs with railings, etc.) can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages.
Driving shouldn’t be the only way to get around. As residents age, they need options that are affordable, accessible, and convenient to allow them to live independently.
Most people want to remain in their homes as they age. This is possible if housing is designed or modified to allow for aging in place. There are programs that can provide funding for these modifications. (link: http://www.phdainc.org/homeimprovement.php)
Depression and loneliness are more common in isolated older adults, and can be as limiting as chronic illness. Older adults in Lawrenceville should have affordable and accessible opportunities to have fun with each other and with residents of all ages.
Respect and Social Inclusion
Older residents have skills, experiences, and stories to share. An inclusive neighborhood provides them with opportunities to contribute to others based on their strengths, whether through teaching, performing, or story-telling.
Work and Civic Engagement
Many older residents enjoy work and want to continue to use their skills in an employment or volunteer setting. They need opportunities to work flexible hours, continue to learn, and utilize their skill set as long as they choose, and are able. By participating in community planning processes with LU, they will be able to shape the future and continue to have a voice in local issues.
Communication and Information
Information is critical to making good decisions and staying engaged in work, social, and volunteer opportunities. LU has hosted events to help older residents become more familiar with new technology, and we ensure that information is shared through a variety of in-print outlets, understanding that not everyone has access to the internet.
Community and Health Services
There are multiple healthcare facilities in Lawrenceville, with physicians providing home visits to Lawrenceville residents. It is critical that older residents can access and afford healthcare services without the need for a car. St. Margaret’s Family Health Center at 40th and Butler has a Geriatric Care Center to provide specialized care for older adults.