Iowa’s capital city has been selected for participation in a national program designed to help cities meet the needs of aging Americans. Des Moines is one of just eight cities added to the AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly Communities. AARP Iowa’s Connie Eastman says when cities make improvements designed to help elderly people, they’re often good for others too.
“If an intersection or business storefront is good for a mother with a stroller, it’s also good for someone on a bike or someone using a walker or wheelchair,” Eastman says. About a fifth of the nation’s population will be 65 or older by the year 2030. That’ll bring a host of challenges from transportation to health care. Eastman says Des Moines is the first Midwestern city to join the Network of Age-Friendly Communities.
“This initiative has more than 13 business, civic, and community organizations that are willing to work on making Des Moines an age-friendly community,” Eastman says. The network is affiliated with a global program run by the World Health Organization. Eastman says more than a third of the population of the Des Moines area will be 65 or older within two decades.