Healthy And Livable Communities: A Good Place For All Generations

“Healthy aging is the development and maintenance of optimal mental, social, and physical well-being and function in older adults. This will most likely be achieved when communities are safe, promote health and well-being and use health services and community programs to prevent or minimize disease.”  —West Virginia Rural Healthy Aging Network

While this definition of healthy aging is a wonderful guiding statement for all of us working in the field of aging, we should not assume that it only applies to older adults. As we face the growing demographic, socioeconomic trends, changes in health status, and market demands for city versus suburban versus rural living, we are quickly learning that age differences do not always mean conflicting preferences.

When envisioning future communities and improving our existing communities cultivating a better quality of life is a goal shared across generations. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) What Is Livable? Report:  Younger and older generations have many similar desires about what they want in their communities.

All generations appreciate pedestrian-friendly streets and good public transportation. Older and younger adults alike want amenities close to home. Neighborhoods of lively streets full of pedestrians, a variety of shopping destinations, meeting places, housing, entertainment and good transportation all located close to home appeal to people of all ages. Researchers have found that millennial and older adults, especially Baby Boomers, enjoy the features of healthy and livable communities.

Karin Stewart

Karin Stewart

This information was brought to you by Age-Friendly Jefferson County, a strategic planning project focused on developing and implementing strategies to create inclusive, livable communities through sustainable partnerships and integrated services. For more information, contact us at or call 303-271-4251

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