What Is a Lifelong Community?

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Lifelong Communities are places where people of all ages and abilities can live as long they’d like. These Communities recognize that economic vitality, stability and health cannot be maintained over an individual’s lifespan without a coherent and supportive physical neighborhood framework. 

The three goals of Lifelong Communities are:
1. Provide Housing and Transportation Options
2. Encourage Healthy Lifestyles
3. Expand Information and Access

Source: Atlanta Regional Commission, atlantaregional.com/aging-resources/lifelong-communities 

Common Terms and Definitions Used in Lifelong Communities initiatives

Aging in Place
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definition of aging in place is “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently, and comfortably, regardless of age, income, or ability level.” cdc.gov/healthyplaces/terminology.htm

Naturally Occurring Communities (NORC)
An initiative of The Jewish Federations of North America in areas with predominantly older adult residents to promote healthy aging and independence through case management and social services. norcs.org

Older Americans Act
Initially passed by Congress in 1965 and amended in 2006, the act established the federal Administration on Aging and provided for the creation of regional Areas on Aging to deliver social services and nutrition services to older persons, as well as Aging and Disability Resource Centers. The Atlanta Regional Commission is our Area on Aging. aoa.gov/AoA_programs/OAA

Senior Village 
A membership network run by volunteers and paid staff to coordinate access to services for members and offer vetted providers that have m ember discounts. vtvnetwork.org

Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)
The Decatur UDO was effective February 1, 2015. It is intended to facilitate the implementation of the land use plans; manage growth while retaining character; promote the health and safety; minimize the impact of land development on the natural environment; provide safe opportunities for all modes of transportation; and facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public requirements. decaturga.com/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=5592

Homes with zero step entry, wider doorways, and bathroom on the main floor. visitability.org

Research on aging of U.S. and World Populations

National Institute on Aging – Global Health and Aging: We Are All Living Longer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – The State of Aging and Health in America

US Census Bureau – Human Aging, A Recent Phenomena

Lifelong Community Advisory Board

In 2013, the Decatur City Commission authorized the creation of a Lifelong Community Advisory Board to assist with the expansion and implementation of the city’s Lifelong Community initiatives. Impetus started with citizen input into Decatur’s 2010 Strategic Plan regarding the desire to preserve Decatur’s diversity and provide better support for our older residents

Find out more about the Lifelong Community Advisory Board here.