D.C Takes a Metropolitan Approach to Aging in Place

The District of Columbia became a member of AARP’s list of age friendly communities in October of 2012, implementing the Age-Friendly DC action plan to develop programs, and services geared towards improving the quality of life for residents of all ages with everything from specialized housing initiatives, to providing support for military veterans, and their families.  With one of the fastest growing employment rates according to the Washington Post, and named one of the best cities for healthy aging

D.C is synonymous with grandeur, cultural diversity, and historic landmarks from the Washington Monument, and Lincoln Memorial, to the Smithsonian museum. Located along the Potomac River, this metropolitan east coast destination offers vibrant city life for active seniors, while being a train, or car ride away from serene beaches, and weekend getaways. The city’s brilliant layout is ideally designed for older adults making it easy to navigate with or without a vehicle, and encourages aging in place with a variety of housing options from apartments to single family homes. The Safe at Home program provides 60+ disabled seniors with up to $10,000, and assistance with making home modifications. For grandchildren in the custody of grandparents, the Plaza West project is underway providing these families with affordable income based housing. 

A prescription to get some fresh air? Washington D.C area physicians are handing out more than just pharmaceuticals. Park prescriptions are given to patients to encourage exercise whether it be a long walk, or hitting the trails on a bike.  Amidst the urban energy, D.C is known for outdoor recreation boasting miles of hiking trails, plentiful public parks, and outdoor farmers markets that reflect the city’s goal to promote a healthy lifestyle. 

It’s back to school for D.C boomers, and retirees attending class at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Surrounded by their age peers, active adults are given the opportunity to nurture a healthy mind proving that it’s never to late to learn something new.  Studies linking continuing education to longevity is proven, and these college bound seniors are no exception.  

The city’s nightlife, food, and wine scene, and senior programs lend themselves to a vibrant social calendar.  Many retirees flock to urban destinations to feel young again, and whether they choose walkable downtown areas, or the suburbs, D.C is changing the way boomers, and retirees work, and play.