Helping Older Adults in Austin Thrive

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March 10, 2022
African American Elderly Couple

African American Mental Health and Wellness (AMEN) team is collaborating with KAZI FM 88.7 in producing a radio series to highlight the importance of addressing mental health and physical wellness in the African American community. The monthly series will feature AMEN team members from the School of Nursing, leaders from Mt. Zion Baptist and Rehoboth Baptist churches, and community organizations who provide mental health resources and support in Travis County. 

Helping Older Adults in Austin Thrive

March 9, 2022 Podcast:

Audio file

Co-moderators Shannon W. Jones and Jacki Hecht interviewed Tabitha Taylor – City of Austin’s Age-Friendly Program Coordinator who oversees the Age-Friendly Austin Action Plan to create a supportive, welcoming, and vibrant environment for older adults.

According to the city demographer, seniors and pre-seniors are the fastest growing demographic in Austin. Mr. Jones notes that Austin is typically thought of as a “young and vibrant town” and adds that older adults can contribute to this as well. Ms. Taylor shares that by 2030, 1 out of 5 people in the United States will be over the age of 65, and by 2035, the number of adults over the age of 65 will be greater than those at age 18. Taylor describes an Age-Friendly City as being able to establish a community that is more livable for older adults so they can live “more holistically” where they reside.

Taylor describes the eight livability domains as: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, work and civic engagement, communication and information, and community support and health services. The eight livability domains are essential for establishing an Age-Friendly Action Plan (AFAP) to assist older adults in overcoming aging challenges. The Age-Friendly Action Plan allows for a “continuous assessment” of the older adult population and strives to improve in certain categories.

Increasing older adult’s comfort level with technology has also played a significant role in overcoming age-related challenges. Taylor shares that recently, the City of Austin’s Public Library has introduced a program for older adults to receive technology training to address these barriers. Through this program, older adults in the Austin area are shown valuable technological skills that are needed in today’s world, such as learning how to book appointments online, order groceries, use telehealth, and connect with family.

Ms. Taylor shares that local community centers, such as the Gus Garcia Recreation Center, serve older adults in certain Austin zip codes like 78753 and 78758. The Gus Garcia Recreation Center offers programs and opportunities for Austin’s seniors and their families over the age of 50 from 9:00am-1:00pm. For more information about the Age-friendly Action Plan and upcoming events, visit the Celebrate Older Americans Month with Age-Friendly Austin or contact Tabitha Taylor at 512-972-5023.

Resources for Older Adults in Austin/Travis County:

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