Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 13. 2013
Is Michigan Ready for Our Aging Population?
Michigan Municipal League Publication Focuses on Aging in Place Concept
Michigan’s biological clock is ticking–fast. Right now, nearly a third of the state’s population is over the age of 50. By 2030–the year the last Baby Boomer turns 65–that number is projected to hit 36.8 percent. Is Michigan ready for our aging population?
In Michigan, if you’re expecting most of our seniors to head for Florida or Arizona, or to neatly vanish into a nursing home, it’s time to wake up and smell the Ben-Gay. According to the AARP, nearly 90 percent of our seniors plan to stay right where they are for as long as they can. So what does all this mean for Michigan’s planners, policy makers and political leaders?
The Michigan Municipal League’s most recent edition of The Review Magazine examines these questions by focusing on this aging in place topic. The May/June 2013 magazine, available for free online here, is all about aging in place and what Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships are doing to prepare and welcome this population.
The magazine’s cover story is on the city of Auburn Hills and how they are using the placemaking concept to assist their aging population (pages 24-27).
Other highlights in the issue include:
- A column by League CEO Dan Gilmartin that explains the aging in place concept and why this is such an important issue to our state (page 5);
- A story about how communities are creating livable destinations for people of all ages, with mentions of the cities of Lansing, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids (pages 6-9);
- Did you know one in five Americans ages 65+ do not drive? Crunching the numbers on aging in Michigan (pages 10-11);
- Characteristics of an age-friendly community, with references to the cities of Auburn Hills and Ann Arbor (pages 12-14);
- How to improve communities for an aging population, with mentions of the communities of Gaylord, Northwest Ottawa County, Kent County, Alpena, Greater Battle Creek area, Washtenaw County, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Bay County, Holland, Inkster, Monroe County, Manistique, and Traverse City (pages 16-18);
- A first-hand account of volunteering at Cass Community Social Services (pages 34-35); - A look at accessory dwelling units and how this housing option can be a good one for older adults (pages 28-30);
- A column about the efforts to be age-friendly in Manistique in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (pages 38-39).
“Placemaking is basically having a community you never want to leave,” said League CEO Daniel Gilmartin. “The League has long talked about placemaking assets that make communities vibrant, such as walkability, public transit and cultural economic development. These assets not only make sense, but they are also attributes people of all ages want. This issue of The Review explains exactly what it means to be age-friendly, which actually means ‘people-friendly,’ because most of the qualities seniors seek are the same ones everyone seeks in a truly livable community. There also is a tremendous economic upside to becoming an age-friendly community. We can’t stop the clock, but we can make sure it ticks to our advantage.”
The League’s May/June Review magazine was mailed out to subscribers this week. The print version of this magazine goes to more than 8,500 municipal leaders—mayors, city council, city managers, municipal staff—as well as state and federal politicians, numerous state agencies, and others interested in community placemaking efforts. The bimonthly magazine is also posted on the web here.
Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.