The Florida Department of Transportation’s (FDOT) Safe Mobility for Life Program and Coalition has designated January “Lifelong Communities Month,” a first-ever designation.
The four main components of a lifelong community highlighted here are:
|Community Design||Street Safety and Security|
|Getting Around||Neighborhood Support Services|
The Safe Mobility for Life Coalition would like to spread the word about the benefits of lifelong communities and share ways to determine how well a community meets your mobility needs.
Take a few minutes to watch the Lifelong Communities in Florida video to learn more about what a lifelong community can offer and where you can access more information. Share the video on your social media platforms, or at a meeting or conference, to spread the word.
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You might be familiar with a different term, such as “age-friendly,” “aging in place,” “livable communities,” “complete streets,” or “communities for a lifetime.” However, they all share the same goal: to successfully prepare our communities so residents of every age and ability can have safe access to a variety of transportation options.
A lifelong community means living in a community with some level of independence in a residence of your choice. This includes having access to features and services that are needed day-to-day that contribute to a rewarding, healthy, and active life.
According to Florida’s 2017 Aging Road User Survey: when asked, "If you could no longer safely drive, what would be the most likely way you would get around your community?", nearly 30% responded that they would get around their community by riding with family members.
Transportation is a key component in a lifelong community because being able to get to and from the places one enjoys or needs to go, with or without a car, is an essential part of living with some level of independence.
From Tallahassee to Miami, you can find cities, counties, and towns committing to initiatives that connect people of all ages to community and social events, health care providers, shopping, and more. Several areas in Florida have already started AARP Florida’s age-friendly initiatives. They are making plans to enhance or add trails and bike paths, provide transportation options, incorporate connectivity by assessing sidewalks and safety, and so much more.
As of January 2019, the following Florida towns, cities, and counties have committed to being age-friendly:
To learn more about AARP Florida’s Age-Friendly Communities and their initiatives visit https://states.aarp.org/aarp-florida-age-friendly-communities/.
Learn about livable communities across the United States and find out how to get your community involved, or apply for an Age-Friendly Community designation by visiting AARP’s Livable Communities web page.
The Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ (DOEA) Communities for a Lifetime program has engaged more than 119 communities, helping cities and towns across the state improve the lives of their residents. Visit DOEA’s Communities for a Lifetime web page to see what resources are available to you regarding housing; transportation and mobility; elder abuse prevention; and health, wellness and falls prevention.
What's important to you?
Community DesignOffers a range of housing types at various levels of affordability. Well-designed, shaded and lighted buildings, streets, sidewalks, and bikeways invite a sense of safety and pride. Streets and civic spaces should be clean, comfortable, and inviting.
Getting AroundProvides safe and easy access to services, amenities, and support services, along with opportunities for healthy living. Offers a wide variety of transportation options for older adults at all levels of ability.
Street Safety and SecurityProvides design features that support safety, access, and mobility. Well-lit, hazard-free sidewalks and paths are essential to encourage walking, an active lifestyle, and minimize the risk of slips and falls. A high degree of connectivity boosts social interaction and walking.
Neighborhood Support ServicesEncourages participation by providing a range of accessible and affordable activities, employment, and lifelong learning. Offers an adequate range of community, health, and home support services.
Lifelong Communities Resources
It is important to determine if the community in which you live or one you may be considering will meet your lifelong transportation needs.
One of the ways to help you discover if where you live or plan to move is the right place for you is to complete the “How to Choose Your Lifelong Community — A Transportation Checklist.” You can use the checklist to see how your current community meets your needs or how to evaluate a new community.
Safe Mobility for Life offers information and numerous resources on Lifelong Communities. Find information on AARP Florida’s Age-Friendly Communities, Complete Streets, the Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Communities for a Lifetime program, and more on the Aging in Place page.
What are your transportation options?
Biking and Walking
In Florida we have the benefit of nice weather all year long that allows us to bike and walk more often. Biking and walking are great ways to get to and from some of the places you need and want to go.
Did the transportation checklist help you discover that you could bike or walk to complete an errand or attend a social activity?
If you found out that from your house to a nearby park, shopping plaza or medical facility there are walkable sidewalks, consider walking to where you need to go, if even once per week.
You may not have considered riding a bus or train, or scheduling door-to-door paratransit service to get to work, a doctor’s appointment or to visit with friends and family, but in communities throughout Florida, these are great options to get you where you want to go. Discover what is available in your community and visit your local transit service’s website to see where it can take you.
Transportation Network Companies
You can also call Uber or Lyft, known as transportation network companies (TNC), to get you to the places you want to go. If you don’t have a smartphone, there are services such as Arrive or Go Go Grandparent to coordinate a ride with Uber or Lyft for you.
Discover your local and statewide transportation options with Find a Ride Florida: an online listing of transportation service providers in all of Florida’s 67 counties.
Visit FindaRideFlorida.org to see which transportation service providers can take you where you need and want to go.
What can you do?
Get involved and bring lifelong community features and designs to your community!
|Complete the “How to Choose Your Lifelong Community – A Transportation Checklist” for your existing community or one you may be considering to find out if it meets your safety and mobility needs.|
|Try a transportation option in your community: consider biking, walking, riding the bus or calling a transportation network provider to complete your next errand.|
|Get things started in your community by becoming an advocate for age-friendly communities. Visit https://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/ to learn more!|
|Sign up for the Safe Mobility for Life Insider quarterly newsletter!|
|Follow us on social media @SafeMobilityFL
|Find safety and mobility workshops near you by visiting the Safe Mobility for Life Community Events Calendar on our home page!|
Help us spread the message!
Share social media posts and the Lifelong Communities in Florida video on your social media platforms to help spread the message and start the Lifelong Community conversation!
Twitter and Instagram
Celebrate @MyFDOT’s Lifelong Communities Month this January! Find out if your community meets your lifelong needs. Download “How to Choose Your Lifelong Community — A Transportation Checklist” by visiting https://fdot.tips/lifelong. #AgeFriendlyFL
January is @MyFDOT’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition Lifelong Communities Month! Do you know what your community is doing to make it lifelong? Learn about @AARPFL age-friendly initiatives by visiting https://fdot.tips/lifelong. #AgeFriendlyFL
Do you know what an @AARPFL age-friendly community is? Visit https://fdot.tips/lifelong to learn about #AgeFriendlyFL communities today!
Florida Department of Elder Affairs’ Communities for a Lifetime program aims to make all communities safe and nurturing places for all ages, especially older adults. Visit http://elderaffairs.state.fl.us/doea/cfal.php to see what resources are available to you. #AgeFriendlyFL
The Florida Department of Transportation’s Safe Mobility for Life Coalition has designated January as Lifelong Communities Month! This inaugural month-long focus highlights community design, getting around, street safety and security, and neighborhood support services as the main components to maintaining mobility independence. Learn if your community meets your mobility needs by ordering “How to Choose Your Lifelong Community — A Transportation Checklist.” Visit https://fdot.tips/lifelong to download a free copy.
Live a safe, independent, active, healthy, and mobile life … in one of Florida’s Lifelong Communities.