After a comprehensive assessment that drew the participation of more than 4,000 older adults from 23 neighborhoods across the city, Age-Friendly Boston announced a major milestone with the release of their 75-point action plan to enhance the quality of life for residents of all ages and abilities.
At an event emceed by Boston’s Commissioner for Affairs of the Elderly Emily Shea and featuring Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, AARP Massachusetts State Director Mike Festa, Tufts Health Plan Foundation president Nora Moreno Cargie, and Secretary for the state’s Executive Office of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner, the action plan was framed as the result of an impressive grassroots-style collaboration with the support of UMass Boston. The action plan was also touted as one of the most detailed and well-constructed that has crossed AARP’s review process.
Jan Mutchler, Director for UMass Boston’s Center for Social and Demographic Research on Aging spoke at the event as part of a team that worked through listening sessions, conducted surveys and served as a driving force in producing research and data to elevate the quality of the city’s action plan. Tufts Health Plan Foundation provided the critical funding support allowing the city to work with UMass Boston’s research team.
Andrea Burns, Director of Age-Friendly Boston, wrapped up the speaking program and underscored the collaborative process, thanking all involved. Burns also emphasized the significance of the action plan’s completion after two years-worth of work, but Commissioner Shea and other speakers highlighted throughout the event that the age-friendly effort is a process of continuous improvement. That means the city will move to the work of implementation before returning to reassessment.
The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative plans to work with Age-Friendly Boston during the implementation phase and promote the action plan as an example to other communities.