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Gov. Brown Declares Age-Friendly Oregon Day

Accessible transportation and affordable housing are important parts of making cities friendly for people of all ages. (Randy Rasmussen/AARP Oregon)
Accessible transportation and affordable housing are important parts of making cities friendly for people of all ages. (Randy Rasmussen/AARP Oregon)
June 3, 2019

SALEM, Ore. — Gov. Kate Brown has proclaimed today Age-Friendly Oregon Day, recognizing communities' efforts to make the state livable for people of all ages.

AARP has been urging cities and states to consider how to prepare for the country's rapidly aging population. AARP Oregon state director Ruby Haughton-Pitts said we need to think about how to accommodate the needs of people of all ages and abilities now in order to create comfortable places to live.

"What Gov. Brown is saying to Oregon is we have an opportunity here. We have an opportunity to work at the community level to create what we really want the next generation to inherit and how we want to live as we're doing that,” Haughton-Pitts said.

AARP has designated six Oregon cities and one county as age-friendly. They are Newberg, Portland, Salem, Sisters, Springfield and Talent, as well as Multnomah County. According to a recent AARP report on age-friendly communities, Oregon is one of the fastest-aging states in the West.

In her proclamation, Brown encouraged Oregon to map out a path toward becoming an age-friendly state in 2020.

When it comes to making age-friendly infrastructure, Haughton-Pitts offered as an example the importance of sidewalk cutouts - not just for the elderly so that they don't fall, but also for baby strollers. She said when we design our cities, we need to ensure everyone's voice is heard and individuals have safe places to work and play.

"And that we're actually thinking about everything from infrastructure like the cutouts in a sidewalk, all the way to whether I can live in my home safely when I'm 90 years old,” she said.

AARP's age-friendly policy focuses on eight areas, including transportation, respect and social inclusion, community and health services and social participation.

Disclosure: AARP Oregon contributes to our fund for reporting on Consumer Issues, Health Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR