Vicksburg joins AARP network of age-friendly areas

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The city of Vicksburg Wednesday joined a national and global effort to improve the health and quality of life of its residents as they age.

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities targets improvements in eight areas that influence the health and quality of life as people age.

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The Board of Mayor and Alderman earlier in November adopted a resolution supporting the program at the request of the AARP.

“We believe in the city of Vicksburg the best way to sustain life and make it more livable and attractive in your community is to make certain that you engage all the things you stand for, so it was an easy decision,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. “We thought it (the program) was not only a great fit for the city of Vicksburg, but for Mississippi, and because it’s global, for the nation.

“We’re honored that you would allow us to engage in this and collaborate with you in making certain that those persons 60 and over engage in this.”

Communities participating in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities commit to improving their livability through an assessment of needs, development of an action plan, implementation of new projects and programs, and ongoing assessment – all involving older residents.

The eight focus areas for the age-friendly process include outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, community support and health services.

The AARP network is affiliated with the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities and helps cities and towns to prepare for two significant ongoing trends — rapid population aging and increasing urbanization.

Nationally, 301 communities representing more than 75 million residents have received the Age-Friendly designation from AARP.

AARP state president and Vicksburg resident Dr. Gwendolyn Prater said out of the city’s estimated population of 25,643, 7,443 who are aged 50 years old or older.

“AARP welcomes the city of Vicksburg as a member of the AARP network of age-friendly communities,” she said. “We’re delighted you have progressively moved to make the city age friendly.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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