Ann Arbor Civic Technology / Code for Ann Arbor Message Board › Age friendly cities and civic communications (Els Nieuwenhuijsen)
Ann Arbor, MI
Els Nieuwenhuijsen shared with me her views about some options about unmet needs in regard to civic communications in our community - these are her words below. Ed
1. Possibly identify a theme. One theme could be the focus on “age friendly cities”. Ann Arbor, one of the best cities to retire according to the AARP, could become a role model of change, although the city has not (yet) officially joined the WHO network for age friendly cities, the aging population will increase in number dramatically and pro-active actions will be important to meet various needs.
2. The emphasis of “age friendly cities” is on “aging in place” and “active aging” - communication is a key component of this endeavor. As an example she talked about a fast growing, informal group of “merry widows” in Ann Arbor. Group members exchange by e-mail and often raise questions related to “aging in place” needs. For instance, how to downsize their home, how to locate a handyman or a helping hand person, etc. There is a need for efficient and effective informed choices and resources, a central location where individuals can retrieve information.
3. Ensure that all information technology is accessible for people with disabilities (hearing, vision, cognitive and other impairments). Making communication accessible for the aging population will benefit communication for and by all people with and without disabilities.