Living Beyond Expectations
Living Beyond Expectations is a project of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Lifelong Communities Initiative.The 21st century offers the promise of longevity, allowing us to live longer than ever before. But, for the promise to be realized, communities must become places where people remain healthy and engaged throughout their lifetime.
That means we will need more choices for housing and transportation, better strategies for maintaining health and expanded access to services. Working together, citizens, government, businesses and philanthropic organizations can realize the promise of longevity and create, throughout the Atlanta region, Lifelong Communities that allow us to live life “Beyond Expectations.”
In the U.S., approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. More than 100 of those live around Atlanta. The number of persons 65 and older will double by 2030 from one in ten to one in five persons. Communities are starting to have conversations about living beyond expectations.
We're here today because people have never lived this long before. In the last 100 years, life expectancy has soared from the early 40's to the mid-80's. Projections suggest that this trend will continue. Atlantans are living longer than ever before, yet most of the physical environment and most of our public investments are made with little consideration for this new-found, unprecedented longevity.
What does it mean to live beyond life expectancy? Beyond expectations? What changes do cities, communities, organizations and individuals need to make in order to prepare and accommodate for this growing number of persons gifted with longevity?
Although age does bring about an increased risk for fragility and disease conditions, there are concrete things that can be done to support older persons and mitigate those conditions. There are many positive aspects of living longer, and there is an upside for older people remaining in our communities such as:
- Retirees embarking on another career
- A new community resource for volunteerism and giving back
- Grandparents getting to help with their grandkids
- Economic benefits of persons patronizing businesses, paying taxes, etc.
Additional resources from the Atlanta Regional Commission:
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