The Village of Shorewood’s efforts to become age-friendly go back to 1999 with the advent of the Elder Services Advisory Board and the Senior Resource Center. Since that time, two surveys on health/supportive service needs and one on housing preferences have been conducted, and a new initiative, Shorewood Connects, was launched. Shorewood has been deliberate in its efforts to keep abreast of what residents are considering as they age and in bringing various stakeholders together to support residents’ ability to “age in community”.
Now that baby boomers are reaching their 60s and 70s, Shorewood has again undertaken a planning process to ensure that it is ready to support residents as they age, knowing that what it does will benefit all generations. For as a community improves on things like sidewalk safety, it becomes easier for not only older adults but also for parents pushing strollers, people with disabilities, and children on their way to school.
This most recent planning process under the umbrella of “age-friendliness”1 included a phone survey, pop-up community surveys, a written survey, and a gathering of fifty stakeholders representing different segments of the community. As the first Wisconsin community in AARP’s Age-Friendly Communities Network, Shorewood received survey assistance from AARP and tapped into the learning resources available through the network. The Shorewood Elder Services Advisory Board led the process, which also included meetings with Village administrators and other Village committees, as well as consideration of age-friendly initiatives in other communities in the AARP Network.
As a result of this process, four priority areas have been identified for work in the next 3-5 years
- Create more housing options for people with moderate incomes.
- Improve Shorewood’s walk-ability.
- Develop neighborhood connection activities and programs.
- Increase [awareness/use of the Senior Resource Center’s] ability to help seniors find and gain access to health and supportive services.
Initial strategies have been identified in an action plan, along with responsible entities and outcome indicators. Shorewood now has a path to follow and a call to action that will lead its stakeholders in becoming a more age-friendly community, supportive of young and old and everyone in between.
For more in-depth information, view the Shorewood 2019-2024 Age Friendly Plan here.