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Commissioners Expand Reach of Age-Friendly Initiative to all of Franklin County

Thursday, February 15, 2018
Contact: Marty Homan, Commissioners, 614-525-5273
Janet Caldwell, Office on Aging, 614-525-5230

On Tuesday, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a $150,000-agreement, funded by the senior services levy, with The Ohio State University College of Social Work to support the work of the Age-Friendly Columbus initiative, and to expand its efforts to encompass all of Franklin County.
 
“We know that our senior population is expected to double in the next 35 years,” said Board President Kevin L. Boyce. “Age-Friendly Columbus has done a lot of great work over the last two years, and as we move to the implementation phase of the project, we want to make sure all corners of the county are involved so we can ensure a high quality of life for all of our residents.”
 
Age-Friendly Columbus, a member of the World Health Organization and AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, began in 2016 at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) and under the leadership of an Advisory Council, an age 50+ Resident Council, and several topic-specific committees. A year-long research and assessment phase was followed by a year-long strategic planning phase, which resulted in two publications: the Age-Friendly Columbus Findings Report and the Age-Friendly Columbus Strategic Plan. The Ohio State University College of Social Work will act as the administrative arm and collaborative partner for the Age-Friendly Columbus initiative during the 2018-2020 implementation period.
 
“Age-Friendly Columbus has been doing great work over the last few years,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “We’ve heard from municipalities around the county that they want to be involved in this work, so I think its good policy and a good investment of levy dollars to make certain all of Franklin County’s communities have the tools at their disposal help seniors thrive in their communities.”
 
“Franklin County’s senior population is growing, and it is important that we plan and prepare for that growth,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “We need to make sure we are able to provide equitable access to services, amenities and opportunities for our residents as they age and their abilities change.”
 
The agreement approved by the commissioners will provide for: the implementation of the Age-Friendly Columbus Strategic Plan; the education and training of leaders and cross-sector experts of cities, villages, and townships across Franklin County in an effort to earn the designation of Age-Friendly Franklin County within the WHO and AARP Network of Livable Communities; and sharing and disseminating the project overview, methodology, and information through robust public outreach.
 
For more information about the Age-Friendly initiative, visit AgeFriendlyColumbus.org.

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