Mayor Chuck Bennett has made a commitment to actively work toward making our city a great place for people of all ages. Center 50+ has accepted the challenge of developing an action plan to establish Salem as an Age-Friendly Community. The World Health Organization conceived this idea in June, 2005.
WHO realized that communities need to prepare for the rapid aging of our population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic, and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults. By doing so, these communities are better equipped to become great places, and even lifelong homes, for people of all ages.
Civic engagement, volunteerism, and employment
On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Center 50+, the City hosted a panel discussion on civic engagement, volunteerism, and employment. This was a great opportunity to learn about the many opportunities for engagement in community activities, events, and issues that currently exist in Salem. Volunteers drive many of these activities, and volunteerism is important both to seniors and the communities they serve.
Connections are made through engagement! Not only do people who get involved benefit from engagement, community organizations and the community as a whole are strengthened. Presenters will share some of the important ways Salem's seniors can contribute to Salem's livability for people of all ages. The community was invited to join the conversation and get connected.
Outdoor spaces and buildings
On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Center 50+, the City hosted a panel discussion on how outdoor spaces and public areas contribute to community livability for Salem’s older adults. A community conversation to share experiences and ideas followed the panel discussion. Community members were encouraged to attend and participate.
How well do Salem Parks and outdoor spaces, and buildings commonly used by the public contribute to livability for seniors and people of all ages? What is a "parklet"? What makes a place age-friendly? Participants joined the conversation and learned about plans for enhancing Salem Parks, and features of public buildings that contribute to usability. Everyone was also invited to participate in upcoming walking audits of commonly visited parks and other public areas.
On March 21, 2018, from 2 to 4 p.m., we learned how accessible and affordable housing can contribute to making Salem a livable community for seniors and people of all ages. Presenters for this Forum included Bandana Shrestha, Community Engagement Director for AARP Oregon; Breezy Aguirre, Community Resource Program Coordinator for ARCHES, Cassandra Hutchinson, Lead ADRC Specialist at Northwest Senior and Disability Services; and Bryan Colbourne, Planner in the City of Salem Community Development Department. A community conversation to share experiences and ideas followed the panel discussion.
Communication and information
Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 2–4 p.m. at Center 50+
The community joined us for a panel discussion, as the Age Friendly Assessment Team tackled the third livability domain, "Communication and Information" Representatives from ARDC, 211 and Marion County Emergency Management were present to offer insight on the tools and techniques they currently use to disseminate information to the community and what special attention they give to communicating to older adults, ADA print material requirements, and the current and future usage of Technology.
Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 2–5 p.m. at Center 50+
We held a panel discussion, community resource fair and spaghetti dinner! We came together with Travel Salem, Elsinore Theater, Salem/Keizer Public Schools, Salem Family YMCA, Salem Public Library, among others. Special focus for this meeting was the impact of isolation in our Salem Community.
Transportation and connectivity
Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 2–4 p.m. at Center 50+, there was a panel discussion with S/K Cherriots, City of Salem, and Bike & Pedestrian Groups. The public was invited to learn about things that are currently in place to encourage less reliance on automobiles, as well as what key initiatives are being lead to improve community connectivity. The particular focus for these discussions surrounds concerns and needs of older adults. However, all community members and partners were encouraged to attend and share their thoughts in regards to the needs of Salem.
Assessment and planning team meeting
Wednesday, October 18, 2017, 2–4 p.m. at Center 50+
A meeting for individuals who are interested in serving on the year-long Age-Friendly Salem Assessment and Planning Team was held.