Tallahassee, Fla. – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins announced Tuesday that the State of Florida has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, a move hailed by AARP as a major step toward making Florida even more livable for people of every age.
“I am pleased that Florida is joining this network to take concrete, actionable steps that will make our state more friendly and livable, not only for children and working-age adults, but also for older Floridians,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “Florida is among the nation’s most diverse and fastest-growing states, so pursuing age-friendly policies is common sense.”
“Florida joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities is a very significant step in the growing movement to make communities more livable, for people of all ages,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “We want to thank Gov. DeSantis, Lt. Gov. Nunez and Elder Affairs Secretary Prudom for their leadership on this important issue.”
“We are proud to receive the significant designation as an Age-Friendly State,” said Richard Prudom, Secretary for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. “Throughout the next decade, the population of older Floridians is expected to increase by nearly 40 percent, so it is essential that communities are prepared. Our efforts continue as we work to make Florida a place where we can all live and live well.”
“This designation opens the way for important partnerships in many parts of state, city and county government, and in the private sector, to make Florida an even better place to live for people of every age,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida State Director. ”For the more than 8 million Floridians age 50-plus and the 2.8 million AARP members statewide, this is a big step forward.”
Jenkins joined Gov. DeSantis at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee Tuesday to make the announcement and for DeSantis to sign paperwork formally enrolling Florida in the network. While more than 350 cities and counties have joined the network, Florida is only the fourth state to do so, and the first in the Sun Belt.
Some 25 Florida cities and counties have joined the network so far. Learn more about how the 25 communities and many other community partners are implementing the Livable Communities work.
Joining the network is the first step in a multi-year process. Member states and communities are encouraged to plan strategically and implement plans that best fit the assets and opportunities of that member state and community. Work focuses on any or all of eight age-friendly domains: Transportation, Housing, Public Spaces, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, Social Participation, Community and Health Services, and Communication and Information.
This is not a framework in which an outside organization dictates what a state or community member should do; members decide for themselves, drawing from input from residents, businesses, government and institutions on what issues they should address.
AARP is the lead U.S. organization for the global network, working with the World Health Organization.
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