City of Columbus and MORPC Release Age-Friendly Columbus Findings Report
February 14, 2017
The City of Columbus and the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) have released the Age-Friendly Columbus Findings Report. Older residents, advocates, and community leaders from throughout Central Ohio gathered at the Dodge Recreation Center to attend the release event.
Central Ohio’s 65+ population is expected to double in the next 35 years. This poses a great opportunity and challenge for the region. As people age and their abilities change, the city will need to provide easy access to services, amenities, and opportunities.
Over the past year, the City of Columbus and MORPC have gathered information on Columbus' aging population, conducting a survey to learn the city's strengths and weaknesses for older residents. A random sample of 1,500 Columbus residents over the age of 50 received the survey in the mail, and a smaller sample completed surveys online or at community events. The surveys were weighted to four targeted neighborhoods: Hilltop, Linden, Near East Side and Beechwold.
The Age Friendly Columbus Findings Report illustrates a variety of strengths and concerns:
- Columbus has many options for long-term services and supports
- Older residents want to be engaged as partners for making Age-Friendly improvements
- Older residents are concerned about the fast-paced growth of the city and the potential negative effects it could have on affordable and accessible housing
- There is a perception of ageism and negative stereotypes of older adults in the community
Furthermore, the majority of older adult residents in Columbus (71 percent) rate the city as an excellent or good place for people to live as they age, however there is a discrepancy when it comes to neighborhoods. Only 56 percent of older residents rated their neighborhood as an excellent or good place to live.
“We are committed to working with our older residents to create neighborhood specific strategies for improvements they want or need,” said Katie White, Age-Friendly Community Coordinator. “From these findings, an action plan will be created, to make sure Columbus and its diverse neighborhoods embraces age-friendliness as a core value.”
The action plan will include both site and service-specific action items for Columbus, but also recommendations that are broader, policy-based, and applicable to other communities around the region.
"The work of Age-Friendly Columbus serves as a foundation," said Councilmember Michael Stinziano. "We must work toward inclusion for all by supporting intergenerational connections, reducing negative stereotypes against older adults, increasing neighborhood safety, and decreasing the disparities across zip codes."
Age-Friendly Columbus is supported and funded by The Osteopathic Heritage Foundation; the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging; the Franklin County Office on Aging; The Columbus Foundation; National Church Residences, and AARP Ohio.