Mayor Greg Fischer at the Louisville Innovation Summit event.
Mayor Greg Fischer at the Louisville Innovation Summit event.

“By 2030, one out of every five people in the United States will be 65-plus. Will your community be ready?” AARP Livable Communities asks.

For Louisville, the answer is, we hope so.

During a kick-off event for the Louisville Innovation Summit on Monday, Mayor Greg Fischer announced that AARP had added the city to its network of age-friendly communities, becoming the 120th city to join. Lexington was added in 2014; Bowling Green in 2015; and Berea in 2015.

In a statement, Mayor Fischer called the membership a “wonderful supplement to the many city initiatives that promote life-long wellness and aging care.”

According to AARP, membership signifies “that the community’s elected leadership has made the commitment to actively work toward making their town, city or county a great place for people of all ages.”

The network targets improvements in eight domains that influence the health and quality of life of older adults, according to the release. Communities strive to offer safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in civic and community activities.

Membership involves following a multi-step process of improvement.

The University of Louisville Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging will take on the initiative and oversee the plan to make Louisville more age-friendly, according to the news release.

“The age-friendly city distinction is an incredibly exciting opportunity for our community to become more supportive not only of our older residents but also for residents of all ages,” Anna Faul, Ph.D., the institute’s executive director, said in a statement.

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is affiliated with the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities.

Mickey Meece
Mickey Meece is a native of Louisville, a Kentucky Colonel and a graduate of the University of Kentucky. She worked at The New York Times for 13 years in various capacities on the business and features desk, including assistant to the editor, small business editor, weekend editor and staff editor. Mickey served as executive editor of USAA Magazine, the Money magazine for military families, and was an editor for the American Banker newspaper, where she reported on the credit card industry.