Davis School Teams Up with Local Leaders to Make Los Angeles More Age-Friendly

AARPCA_AgeFriendlyLA_FINAL-02The USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology has joined forces with the County of Los Angeles Community and Senior Services (CSS), the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, AARP, The Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, and the UCLA Los Angeles Community Academic Partnership for Research in Aging to announce the launch of Purposeful Aging Los Angeles – an innovative, sustained initiative to make the Los Angeles region the most age-friendly in the world.

“I am very pleased that the County of Los Angeles is joining with the City of Los Angeles and leading institutions to launch Purposeful Aging Los Angeles,” said Supervisor Hilda Solis, Chair of the County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. “This landmark initiative will unite public and private leadership from across the County to ensure a better future for older adults and Angelenos of all ages. With an older adult population that is rapidly growing, we must prepare our communities for the future of aging in Los Angeles County. As we make our county more age-friendly, we are expanding our shared commitment to the older adults who contribute so much to our communities.”

“Everyone in our dynamic and diverse city contributes to making Los Angeles an incredible place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “That’s why today, we commit ourselves to better understanding and meeting the needs of older Angelenos, a growing population that deserves our attention and respect.”

“As Director of CSS – the County’s lead agency on older adult issues – I could not be more excited to join this distinguished group of leaders to launch Purposeful Aging Los Angeles,” said Cynthia Banks, Director of CSS. “Today we celebrate the first step in our journey towards making the Los Angeles region the most age-friendly in the world.”

Between 2010 and 2030, the older adult population in the Los Angeles region is expected to almost double, from approximately 1.1 million to more than 2.1 million individuals. This unprecedented aging of the region’s diverse population demands bold thinking and action, shared responsibility, and committed public and private sector leadership.

“We are excited about the potential of this collaborative effort to address one of the most important opportunities and challenges of our time—the aging of our population,” said USC Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Quick. “USC is an internationally recognized pioneer in the study of aging. The university has prioritized the study of aging across disciplines and has recently made a significant investment in Alzheimer’s disease research, making it arguably the leading institution in the country on this important issue.”

“The Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, in partnership with the broader USC community, is leading research efforts to understand the underlying mechanisms of aging and longevity, the rapidly shifting demographics, and the impacts an aging population will have on individuals, families, and communities as well as such key areas as healthcare, behavioral health, public policy, business, and finance,” said USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology Dean Pinchas Cohen. “We are enthusiastic about using our expertise in collaboration with Purposeful Aging Los Angeles partner organizations to contribute to the development innovative, evidence-based changes in the community.”

As a critical component of Purposeful Aging Los Angeles, Los Angeles County has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities and World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Membership in the Network of Age-Friendly Communities will provide a structured opportunity for the County to examine and enhance current policies, programs and infrastructure in eight domains of livability that include: civic participation and employment, community support and health services and transportation.

As a member of the Network of Age-Friendly Communities, the County will launch a two-year, inclusive planning process that will involve robust engagement of key stakeholders, including older adults, cities within the County, philanthropic organizations, community organizations, businesses, and educational institutions. During the coming months, Purposeful Aging Los Angeles will host or participate in a series of events throughout the Los Angeles region to introduce the Initiative to these constituencies. The planning process will culminate in the development of a three-year action plan for implementation that will strengthen the region’s age-friendliness.

“Having the County and City make this great stride in unison is a testament to the urgency and importance of ensuring safe, livable communities for all in the greater Los Angeles region and beyond,” said AARP California State Director Nancy McPherson. “We applaud Mayor Garcetti’s and Supervisor Solis’ recognition of this significant issue and their willingness to bring many knowledgeable partners and experts to the table.”

“This is a historic opportunity for the Mayor, his colleagues on the County Board of Supervisors and a wide range of collaborating stakeholders to set the standard for regions with aging populations across America and the world that hunger for new ideas and innovative practices,” said Paul Irving, Chairman of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Leonard Davis School.

For more information, please visit www.purposefulagingla.com.

Release content courtesy County of Los Angeles Community and Senior Services.

Above photo, from left: Catherine Sarkisian, UCLA Division of Geriatrics Professor in Residence and Director of the LA Community Academic Partnership for Research in Aging; Laura Trejo ’82, MSG ’87, MPA ’87, Los Angeles Department of Aging General Manager; Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael Quick; Kate Wilber, Mary Pickford Foundation Professor of Gerontology at the Davis School; Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti; Paul Irving, Chair of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Davis School; and Kelvin Davies, Vice Dean and James Birren Chair in Gerontology at the Davis School.

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