Cary, NC joins the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities

People communicate while riding the bus.
Providing public transportation is one of the goals of the City of Cary

CARY, NC – To best prepare for a population that is both growing and aging, the city of Cary, North Carolina has joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. The announcement was made on City council meeting on November 17th. Through the network, the City of Cary receives both technical support and shared expertise to help develop changes to support people of all ages.

Wake County is the fastest growing county in the state, with a population of 243,000 between 2010 and 2021. City officials have joined the network to ensure civic improvements benefit the very old, the very young and everyone in between.

“Although the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities program is recognized by elected officials and others as a leading resource on how to improve the quality of life for people 50 and older and their families in communities, age-friendly improvements benefit all people of old,” said Michael Olender, Director of AARP North Carolina.

An “age-friendly” city, town or rural area helps people live easily and comfortably in their homes and communities as they age. That means access to affordable housing, transportation, healthcare, community engagement opportunities, the ability to walk and bike, and more.

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Localities helps local leaders meet the needs of their community’s older adults and prepare for the rapid aging of the US population. (By 2034, America will have more adults age 65 and older than children under 18.) Membership provides elected officials, policymakers, and community volunteers with peer support and access to experts and best practices

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AARP’s Pax Baptist presenting the certificate of enrollment to Mayor Harold Weinbrecht and Barry Mitsch, President of the city’s Senior Advisory Committee

Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht states, “Joining the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is another step in our ongoing commitment to educate citizens about what is available, but also to receive feedback on what else is being done must become.”

One area that is immediately taking center stage at Cary is housing. The city has released its latest housing plan, which has a heavy focus on senior housing. The plan encourages collaboration between planning, programming and facilities management to promote, find and expand opportunities for seniors to access affordable housing.

AARP has been a catalyst across North Carolina when it comes to this Easing restrictions to better accommodate housing opportunities including Accessories housing units.

Among other priorities, the city is working to make its facilities, including its senior center, more accessible to older adults and people with disabilities. It’s also working to make transportation options like GoCary more widely available.

Cary joins a number of cities and counties across the state that are currently members of the AARP network, including Wake, Durham and Orange Counties and the City of Durham. Cary will not only benefit from the combined resources and expertise in these areas, but also from the more than 665 communities across the country that are part of the network.

Michael Olender adds, “Cary’s inclusion in the Age-Friendly Network is another way the city is working to create safe, walkable streets; age-appropriate housing and transport options; access to required services; and opportunities for residents of all ages to participate in community life.”