You might be more familiar with a different term, such as “livable communities,” “complete streets,” or even “Communities for a Lifetime”, however, they all have the same goal, to successfully prepare our communities so citizens of every age can enjoy and have safe access to all the different modes of transportation.
Florida's Safe Mobility for Life Coalition uses the term, "Aging in Place" and defines it as: "Living in a community with some level of independence in a residence of your choice. This includes having access to services that are needed day to day, while maintaining your independence and quality of life."
Our Coalition established Aging in Place as one of our ten emphasis areas in Florida's Aging Road User Strategic Safety Plan and are developing resources or providing information to help us meet the following objectives:
- To increase the number of livable communities in Florida
- To improve the transportation environment to better accommodate the safety, access, and mobility of aging road users
Working together to address and meet these objectives will help our Coalition meet the overall goal of the Aging in Place Emphasis Area, that is to "promote and encourage practices that support and enhance aging in place".
To help you find out whether a community has features and services that are important to you to help remain independent, mobile, and active, the Safe Mobility for Life Coalition developed a How to Choose Your Lifelong Community Checklist! The checklist is interactive and includes features and services in four areas:
- Community Design
- Getting Around
- Street Safety and Security
- Neighborhood Support Services
By completing the checklist, you will learn if your community meets your safety and mobility needs to help you successfully age in place! You can download a PDF version of the checklist by clicking the image to the right. To receive a printed version of the checklist by mail, please contact our Safe Mobility for Life Resource Center:
Pepper Institute on Aging and Public
Safe Mobility for Life Resource Center
636 West Call Street
Tallahassee, FL 32306
* Please allow 5-8 business days to receive your Checklist in the mail
AARP Florida's Age Friendly Communities have met the standards to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults. Some of the AARP Florida's Age Friendly Communities include:
- Town of Cutler Bay
- City of Hallandale Beach
- Village of Pinecrest
- Sarasota County
- City of St. Petersburg
- City of Tallahassee
- City of Winter Haven
The Community Transportation Association (CTAA) is a public and community transportation advocate and offers a senior transportation toolkit on their website.
AARP's Office of Public Policy published a report that describes specialized transportation; highlights promising practices; and offers policy options for improving these services. This report recommends that policymakers take steps to strengthen coordinated planning, increase support for mobility management, and improve data collection and reporting on these services. Click here to download the Policy Options to Improve Specialized Transportation report.
Developing livable communities for all ages is the focus of the Partners for Livable Communities Aging In Place Initiative.
The CDC Community Health Improvement Navigator (CHI Navigator) is a website for people who lead or participate in CHI work within hospitals and health systems, public health agencies, and other community organizations. It is a one-stop-shop that offers community stakeholders expert-vetted tools and resources. Community health improvement (CHI) is a process to identify and address the health needs of communities.
Complete Streets policies—including laws, resolutions, executive orders, policies, and planning and design documents—encourage and provide safe access to destinations for everyone, regardless of age, ability, income, ethnicity, or how they travel. The Coalition evaluates policies based on 10 policy elements, including the policy’s vision, the project types included, and next steps for implementation, among others, and these policies are some of the strongest and most effective ever passed. View the National Complete Streets Coalition's efforts to improve mobility for older Americans, and the efforts related specifically to Florida at https://smartgrowthamerica.org/search/florida/.
FDOT is making major strides toward improving pedestrian and bicycle safety through its Complete Streets Implementation initiative. One of FDOT’s most innovative achievements has been the recent adoption of eight context classifications to guide road design decisions. While the concept of context classification is not new, FDOT is one of the first states to operationalize it within formal decision-making processes.
Nationwide, a total of 1,232 policies are now in place, in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, including 33 state governments, 77 regional planning organizations, and 955 individual municipalities. Among them are the following Florida communities:
- Cape Coral
- St. Petersburg
The Partnership for Active Transportation is a collaboration of organizations working to promote greater investment in creating safe trail, walking and bicycling networks for all, and facilitating greater physical activity through active transportation.
The Case for Age-Friendly Communities is a report developed by the Portland State University Institute on Aging examining economic, social, and physical environment improvements that maximize the asset of an aging population while benefiting all age groups.
The Department of Elder Affairs' (DOEA) Communities for a Lifetime is a statewide initiative that assists Florida cities, towns and counties in planning and implementing improvements that benefit their residents, both youth and elder. This initiative focuses on housing, health/wellness, injury prevention, and transportation and mobility.
Do you need help finding an aging in place community here in Florida? You can start by looking at these communities that have made a commitment to supporting the aging in place concept.
- AARP Florida Network of Age-Friendly Communities
- Department of Elder Affairs Communities for a Lifetime
- Milken Institutes Best Cities for Successful Aging (View their interactive map to see locations in Florida)
- Smart Growth America's Complete Streets Policy Adoption List for Florida (updated March 2016)
- Village to Village Network (Click on the map to see locations in Florida)
- 8 80 Cities improves the quality of life for people in cities by bringing citizens together to enhance mobility and public space so that together we can create more vibrant, healthy, and equitable communities. Click here for an assessment worksheet (PDF) designed to help you identify strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities in your neighborhood.
- View a PDF on rural transportation options for seniors
- The AARP Livable Community website
- AARP Livability Fact Sheets: A package of comprehensive, easy-to-read livability resources, the 11 fact sheets can be used by community leaders, policy makers, citizen activists and others to learn about and explain what makes a city, town or neighborhood a great place for people of all ages
- AARP Livability Index Tool: An interactive website to help measure the quality of life in communities across multiple dimensions: housing, transportation, neighborhood characteristics, environment, health, opportunity, and civic and social engagement. It allows users to compare communities, adjust scores based on personal preferences and learn how to take action to make their own communities more livable
- Florida Department of Transportation Complete Streets Website
- Grantmakers in Aging Age-Friendly America Database
- National Complete Street Coalition's Benefits of Complete Streets for Older Adults fact sheet
- Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC)
- Smart Growth America Complete Streets Coalition
- FHWA Safety and Design resources