The City Club of Central Oregon recently brought together a panel of experts to address this important topic: Envision Better Aging: How Can Central Oregon Adapt to the Needs of an Aging Population?
That’s a complicated question, and there’s no single answer. The aging population in the world and Central Oregon is rising rapidly. How will we meet their growing needs? What are our plans for creating age-friendly communities? Think housing, transportation, life-long learning, intergenerational workforce, and inclusive social connection. Who are the older people in our midst? What roles can our local cities and non-profits take in facilitating an age-friendly region? What can individuals do to prepare for better aging?
Scott Cooper, the Executive Director of NeighborImpact in Redmond and Prineville, moderated the panel. Toni Landis from the Age-Friendly Sisters Country non profit discussed how that community is enhancing livability, identifying gaps in services, and helping seniors successfully age in place. She also explained how Sisters became designated as an age-friendly community.
Heather Salvesen shared an update on the new Bridge Meadows complex in Redmond, outlining its intergenerational housing and community model that will “serve three generations in a place called home.” Betsy Warriner, who is the founder of Volunteer Central Oregon, shined the light on how aging with purpose makes people feel connected and significant.