For the past few months, Planning NEXT and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) have been working to develop a draft set of strategies for the Age-Friendly Columbus strategic plan. Part of a nationwide effort led by the AARP, the plan aims to make Columbus a community that is great for people of all ages. A working group comprising representatives from a variety of Columbus organizations, city departments, businesses and service providers, as well as Columbus residents over the age of 50, has collaborated to set overarching goals and define a number of programs, policies and projects that will help move Columbus move towards those goals.
On May 25th, the team held a public workshop at the Wells Barn in Franklin Park to test some of the draft strategies with the community. Around 100 people attended the workshop, including older adults and members of the various immigrant groups in Columbus. Members of the Age-Friendly Columbus Advisory Council led the participants in small group sessions, describing some of the strategies being considered for the plan and recording feedback from their groups. Some of the strategies discussed included performing “walk audits” to report on sidewalk conditions, home modifications to support aging in place, preparations to improve emergency care, and more. The strategies place a special focus on opportunities for inter-generational cooperation.
The input from this workshop will be used to refine the draft strategies for the strategic plan, to be finalized by Fall 2017. To learn more about Age-Friendly Columbus, visit: www.agefriendlycolumbus.org.