Joann Sullivan on August 9th, 2016

Anabel_Pelham_updateSeveral years ago I attended a presentation by Anabel Pelham who is Professor Emeritus of Gerontology at San Francisco State University. She talked about her work in Los Gatos to become a Global Age Friendly City. I was so excited to hear her speak about their work in the South Bay and felt that this was something we really needed to do in Berkeley.  After all, Berkeley is the home of the Independent Living Movement and as I have said many times, it is the best place I know of to grow older.

My enthusiasm was re-kindled a few weeks ago when I heard her speak again at the East Bay Foundation on Aging’s Celebration of its Grantees. I told her about my ideas and I also found out that there is a group of people in Berkeley already working on making our city an aging friendly city.

First a little background information.   In 2007, the World Health Organization (WHO) began an international effort to respond to two significant demographic trends: urbanization and an aging population. At that time, over half of the world’s population lived in cities. It was projected that by 2030 sixty percent of the population would be elderly, mostly due to improvements in public health and people living longer.

To help cities prepare for these trends, the WHO developed the Global Age-Friendly Cities project. They identified eight domains that age friendly cities must address to “optimize opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.”

The eight domains are:

  1. Housing
  2. Social Participation
  3. Respect and Social Inclusion
  4. Civic Participation and Employment
  5. Communication and Information
  6. Community Support and Health Services
  7. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
  8. Transportation

It is the Berkeley Age Friendly Project’s goal to assess the current needs in the city of Berkeley according to the 8 domains of the WHO Age-Friendly platform. Based off of this assessment, the group will start the process of applying to become a WHO Age-Friendly City.

The people working on Berkeley’s Age Friendly Project are Abbey Dykhouse, Coordinator of the project and Leah Talley, Director of Senior Services for the City of Berkeley.  The key partners are:

  • Ashby Village
  • Lifelong Medical Care
  • Center for Independent Living
  • City of Berkeley, Aging Services Division

I am so excited about this project because I know that when our city takes the steps to improve the environment for older people it will be a better city for people of all ages.

One Response to “Berkeley–An Aging-Friendly City!”

  1. I have the idea that many of us might have spent our money’s and that’s why we scramble for section 8. so I would like to see a dormitory life style much like a youth hostel, with beds and public spaces and community kitchen. Educational courses available, work studios for writers and musicians and artists: no private possessions but allowance for storage spaces. Can something like this be considered? We don’t have to downsize, just get rid of stuff and live loose and free with a place to sleep and eat and enjoty life. It’s take N me 20 trarsi to learn how to est and live healthfully, make use if medicare and Health insurance. I have taught myself the uses of herbs and homeopathic and really don’t need to be owning or renting or imitating the life of younger days.
    Suzanne Cerny Please send me a copy of this!
    El Cerrito, CA
    present occupation, live in caregiver,
    and artist still painting. and now some teaching, thinking of writing a book.
    Hoping to be more responsible about income with paintings.

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