11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. The world’s shortest man and tallest man both have struggled with being unique. (Learn more at Guinness World Records) 2. Iowa City, Iowa, is the most age-friendly small town in the United States. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Your physically accurate digital avatar can be used to get custom-tailored clothes.  (Learn more at Wired) >> 10 Foods to Avoid Before Boarding a Plane 4. Japan’s new bullet train travels up to 311 mph, about …

How to Make a City More Walkable

Post by Melissa Stanton, AARP Livable Communities: Recognizing the need for more walkable communities to benefit older adults and people of all ages, Marketplace Weekend, an American Public Media broadcast that airs on NPR, visited with Nancy LeaMond, executive vice president of the AARP state and national group, which includes AARP Livable Communities. >> See if your town or city is in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities AARP’s efforts to help communities become less car-dependent are motivated by the …

Remodeling a Bathroom for Aging in Place

Guest post by Bruce Case, Case Design/Remodeling “Is this the house we’ll retire in?” Crystal and Chris K. frequently asked one another about their home in Silver Spring, Md. The question was important because the answer would determine if they’d remodel or sell their house. If they stayed, some home renovations would be needed in order to successfully age in place. If they eventually moved, a home renovation wouldn’t be all that worthwhile. When Chris and Crystal ultimately made the …

Why Cities Need to Be Business-Friendly, Family-Friendly and Age-Friendly

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, so we won’t even try. Ted Wheeler is the state treasurer of Oregon. On July 17 he was the keynote speaker at an AARP and Governing magazine roundtable event that convened Portland-area elected officials, municipal and regional staff, and private-sector leaders to share strategies for creating age-friendly, livable places. Following are Wheeler’s spot-on remarks about the importance of livable communities for people of all ages: “By 2030 1 out of every 5 people …

Walking to the White House

Post by Melissa Stanton, AARP (updated May 13, 2014): If Dan Burden could have walked the 2,745 miles from Port Townsend, Wash., where he lives and works, and arrive in Washington, D.C., by May 13, there’s a good chance he’d have done so. As cofounder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute, Burden travels the nation (and points beyond) helping cities, towns and neighborhoods become more walkable. His efforts earned him an invitation to the White House, where he was …

What Is a Livable Community, and How Do We Measure One?

Older adults have a diverse range of preferences, needs and constraints. Income, caregiver/disability status, race and ethnicity, location and other personal factors all impact residents’ perspective on the features of their community. To advance our understanding of community livability, we held focus groups and fielded a nationwide survey to look at what older adults want and need in their communities. Their responses addressed many components of AARP’s official definition of a “livable community.” These include safety, affordable and appropriate housing and transportation options, community …