Inclusive, attractive design in the indoor and outdoor environment encourages social participation and active lifestyle choices for people of all ages. Green spaces, safe streets and sidewalks, universally designed buildings, and mixed-use spaces should be integrated into Erie County’s rich architectural history.
A variety of affordable transit options such as public transit, taxis, car shares, cycling, and safe pedestrian pathways is critical for residents of Erie County to engage in a wide variety of community activities across urban, suburban, and rural settings. Signage, transit stops, and real-time information also contribute to improved transportation systems.
An age-friendly community enables its residents to age in place. Applying universal design strategies when building or modifying homes makes aging in place a reality. In addition it contains a variety of housing types at all levels of affordability.
Buffalo is known as the “city of good neighbors.” Creating interesting and engaging opportunities for interaction with family, friends, and neighbors contributes to increased community awareness and investment, and fosters an environment for positive mental health.
Intergenerational activities and welcoming environments are important for developing mutual relationships of respect and diminishing stigma associated with aging for diverse populations of age, ability, faith, and income.
Older adults should have the option to work, volunteer, engage in political activism, or serve on local committees. Employers and community leaders in Erie County should serve as advocates for increased civic participation and employment by recognizing the value and experience older adults can bring to an organization.
In a world of rapidly developing communication technology, it is important to consider how individuals access and use this technology across their lifespan, and how these needs may change as they age. Understanding how diverse populations throughout Erie County receive information can then help tailor outreach and access efforts that best fits the needs of the community.
An age-friendly Erie County fosters good physical and mental health across the lifespan. Community support and affordable healthcare services should provide accessible and trustworthy resources that promote quality care and healthy living. Services and support should also be available to prevent and report elder abuse, fraud, and neglect.
Residents of Erie County, young and old, encounter similar challenges during inclement weather. These barriers may particularly impact participation in daily activities and increase risk during community mobility for older adults. Planning and information sharing should be universally designed to better communicate with residents in the event of weather-related and other emergencies.
Erie County is home to many colleges and universities that engage in a multitude of intellectual community events and progressive research initiatives. Collaborative research efforts on aging, and engagement of older adults in these scholarly communities promotes reciprocal learning opportunities across generations.