In a recent editorial in the Salem News, Mayor Kim Driscoll marked the five year anniversary of Salem’s age-friendly action plan as well as the creation of the “Salem for All Ages” initiative. Mayor Driscoll proudly marked off a list of notable accomplishments that serve as examples to other age-and dementia friendly efforts.
“As we reach this milestone,” she writes “we are grateful, as a city that values and includes people of all ages and abilities in our community’s vibrancy, activity and programming, for the many individuals and organizations who have contributed to the success of the initiative.”
Along with giving credit to the many workgroups and partners that help make the initiative a success, Mayor Driscoll noted some of the groups major achievements:
- The “Salem for All Ages” website, which places all the city’s resources and opportunities for older adults in one place. The site also connects older adults with organizations looking for volunteers.
- Passing a major overhaul to the community’s Accessory Dwelling Unit bylaw.
- The Salem for All Ages health subcommittee helped with Salem Together’s thousands of well-being check-in phone calls to Salem seniors in the spring of 2020 during pandemic lockdown.
- Launching an Age-Friendly Business certification program.
- Established “The Salem Skipper,” which is a low-cost, on-demand public shuttle made possible thanks to an initial planning grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation that had been secured by the Salem for All Ages Task Force’s Transportation Subcommittee, in partnership with the City’s Traffic and Parking Department. Since the service launched in December 2020 the Skipper has given over 20,000 rides, including thousands to residents over the age of 65.