Age My Way NC survey asks residents for ways to improve community life for all ages

North Carolina will soon have fewer younger residents than older residents.  
(Photo: Cristina Gottardi/Unsplash)

RALEIGH, NC (WWAY) – A collaborative effort between the State of North Carolina and AARP, the largest organization of older adults in the state, will help our cities, towns and rural areas become better prepared to meet the needs of an aging population.

A new statewide survey titled Age My Way NC will ask people 45 and older across the state to offer their thoughts on priorities for their communities, including safe and walkable streets; age-friendly housing and transportation options; access to needed services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.

Approximately 1.7 million North Carolinians are age 65 or older and that number is growing.

By 2030, fully one-in-five will be older than 65 and for the first time ever, North Carolina will be comprised more of older adults than children.

“The Age My Way NC survey is a critical tool to help the state, as well as counties and local communities, identify the most important improvements to make any place you live in North Carolina the best it can be for all ages,” said Mary Penny Kelley, Executive Director of Governor Roy Cooper’s rural initiative Hometown Strong and coordinator of the Age My Way NC project.

With its focus on rural communities, Hometown Strong is instrumental in making sure the needs of those living outside urban areas are equally prepared.

“North Carolina is a rural state, with 80 of our 100 counties being outside major metropolitan areas. Approximately 2.2 million
people call rural North Carolina home,” Kelley said. “Our state’s aging population has become a cause for concern. With its expected growth, the nature of urban and rural development, daily living, work, leisure, and retirement are expected
to change to keep pace,” said Lisa Riegel, Manager of AARP North Carolina Advocacy and Livable Communities.

“When it comes to making age-friendly improvements, what is good for older adults is also good for all residents. For example, better sidewalks and making areas more walkable not only improve health and mobility, they make main street businesses more accessible, and can even increase property value. Age-friendly investments have returns for all ages,” said Riegel.

The Age My Way NC survey, available in English and Spanish, will be accessible electronically.

You can click here to get to the survey online.

Hard copies of the survey are available by email request to NCAARP@aarp.org.

Please include a mailing address for hard copy requests.

The Survey will be open for the next 60 days and the results will be made available to local, county and state officials, as well as the public.

Over 600 communities nationwide, including 12 in North Carolina, have already used a similar survey to assess priorities and needs to make areas more livable for everyone.

In North Carolina, the cities of Archdale, Durham, Jamestown, Matthews, Mount Airy, and the counties
of Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Lenoir, Mecklenburg, Orange, and Wake have used this survey.

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