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News Release
Media Welcome to Age Friendly Summit at the Asian Health & Services Center (Photo) - 12/06/19

Gov. Kate Brown will kick off the Age-Friendly Summit at the Asian Health & Services Center, 9035 SE Foster Road Portland, at 9:30 a.m. Monday in front of 400 advocates, activists and policymakers.                                                             


Gov. Brown will be followed by Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who was the first mayor in Oregon to declare Portland “Age-Friendly” as part of a network of cities across the world preparing for an aging population.


The AARP Network of the Age-Friendly States and Communities is the United States affiliate of the World Health Organization Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, to prepare for rapidly aging populations and the parallel trend of urbanization. To date, seven Oregon cities have joined the network.


“The average 10-year old today has a 50% chance of living to 100,” said AARP Oregon State Director Ruby Haughton-Pitts. “Our communities and state need to take the long view and build communities where people of all ages can enjoy life.”


Experts from around the state will convene to learn about Age-Friendly “domains” including but not limited to transportation, housing, economic security, civic engagement, and healthcare. International Age-Friendly expert Gil Penalosa and founder of the Canadian nonprofit “8 80” will provide a keynote address. His work demonstrates that what cities do to help an 8-year old or 80-year old will be “great for all people.”


Oregon's 65-and-older population is growing faster than the nation as a whole. Oregon is a retirement destination, but the majority of the growth comes not from migration, but Oregonians aging in their home state.


“We know that the large majority of older adults want to stay in their communities as they age,” said Bandana Shrestha, Community Engagement Director for AARP and conference organizer. “However, they may need new transportation options, housing changes and ways to maintain community connections.”


Oregon has been at the forefront of Age-Friendly Cities since Dr. Margaret Neal and Dr. Alan De La Torre from Portland State University’s Institute on Aging began a collaboration with the WHO in 2006. They will also be presenters at the summit.


“Portland and Oregon have a great history meeting the challenge of an aging society,” said Haughton-Pitts, “but we need to forge a new future that will enable older adults to continue being contributing and valued members of our communities.”


Conference materials can be found here including the full program agenda.


AARP Oregon is a nonprofit organization with 510,000 members across the state.

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