Alyssa Norwood, JD, MPH, program manager at Connecticut’s Legislative Commission on Aging
Connecticut is undergoing a permanent and historic transformation in its demographics: it is aging. Between 2010 and 2040, Connecticut’s population of people age 65 and older is projected to grow by 57%, with only 2% growth for people age 20 to 64 during the same period. Moreover, residents born in Connecticut today can expect to live to be 80.8 years old—the third highest life expectancy in the nation.
The Connecticut General Assembly (CGA) recognized that this unprecedented longevity, coupled with sheer increases in the number of older adults, has profound implications for everyone in Connecticut. Accordingly, the CGA passed Public Act 13-109, which empowered Connecticut’s Legislative Commission on Aging to spearhead Connecticut for Livable Communities.
Livable communities are vibrant, intergenerational places that are easy to get around. They include affordable, appropriate housing options, supportive community features and services, and adequate mobility options. They foster independence, engage residents in civic and social life, and allow people to age in place. Done well, they benefit community residents across the lifespan. Livable communities create economic value, are attractive to all ages, promote health and drive environmentally responsible development.
Thus far, the Legislative Commission has created a website to highlight resources, innovations and ideas, and best practices across Connecticut and across the nation; formalized nearly 30 strategic partnerships (including with the Partnership for Strong Communities) across multiple sectors, including municipal and state leaders, community stakeholders, philanthropic organizations and others; outlined a process for creating livability for local municipal leaders; advanced public policies to support aging in place and livable communities; and submitted our first annual report to the CGA.
By building on the strengths of each of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns and the many communities within, with tenacity, Connecticut will succeed in creating great places in which to grow up and grow older.
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