By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on August 25, 2009 2:00 PM
Making New York City more livable for its aging population is one of the goals put forward today by Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Speaker Christine Quinn, and The New York Academy of Medicine. Fifty-nine initiatives were unveiled to make the city more senior-friendly as part of its goal to become a World Health Organization Age-Friendly City. The blueprint focuses on four areas: housing; health and social services; community and civic participation; and public spaces and transportation. (Some might say that if even one area were covered even moderately successfully, it would be an improvement for this segment of the city’s population.) With many older New Yorkers choosing to stay in the city rather than retire elsewhere, these measures are crucially needed. More than 1.3 million older New Yorkers call the city home; this number is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent by the year 2030. The new services include everything from assigning artists to senior centers to offer free art programs to making available free bus transportation to supermarkets so seniors can have access to healthier food. What else is being proposed? Offering discounts to seniors on gym memberships; hosting a citywide summit on palliative care this fall; and establishing a more intergenerational volunteering effort by partnering with schools and nonprofit organizations.