What Is A Lifelong Community...And Why?
Living longer is one of the many great benefits of living in
this century, but becoming healthy and staying healthy are
essential elements to maintaining a high quality of life. There are
various key components involved in successfully creating a
"Lifelong Community" ranging from housing and
medical needs to community partnerships and social interaction.
What surprises many individuals is the importance of social
interaction for older Americans. Isolation can dramatically
increase negative physical/mental health, and isolation problems.
Over the years Clayton County Senior Services has implemented
various programs that address these very important aspects of a
Lifelong Community for seniors.
It has been projected that by 2030, one out of every five
residents in Atlanta will be over age 60. The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has
developed a Lifelong Community's Initiative to address this shift
in aging. ARC has incorporated seven principlesto help community
leaders, planners, developers, and citizens create goals for a
Lifelong Community. Clayton County is one, among various other
metro-Atlanta counties, that is working to develop communities, and
restructure policies that will to assist in facilitating the needs
of its older population, as addressed by the Lifelong Community's
three goals for a "Lifelong
1) Promoting housing and transportation options
2) Encouraging healthy lifestyles
3) Expanding information and access to services
"The face of Aging is dramatically changing because
of longevity, improved health status, and changes in families and
communities. In the new age of Aging, in the face of scarce
resources and a growing population of older adults, it takes a team
of leaders with shared vision and strong commitments to address the
challenges before us. The "Lifelong Clayton" Initiative will
convene such teams to address the needs of the present, and to plan
for the emerging needs of tomorrow."
Quote by Mary Byrd, Director of Clayton County Senior
Our senior population is one of this county's most valuable
treasures. They serve as a lifeline to our history; reminder of
life's sacrd timeline; and provide us with a glimpse into our
future. Therefore, we must be proactive and creative when
developing lifelong commuities that address the unique needs of our
In 2011 Clayton County Board of Commissioners (CCBOC), under the
leadership of Chariman Eldrin Bell, adopted a resolution to support
the principles and goals of the Lifelong Community. Chairman Bell
then established a Lifelong Clayton Steering Committee. The
committee under the umbrella of the county's Senior Services
Department will work to ensure that there exist cross collaboration
and cross planning among departments and municipalities when
addressing the needs of the senior population in conjunction with
the needs and benefits for the entire Clayton County community.