Apr 28, 2020

Lenoir County to Join AARP Age-Friendly Network



Congratulations to Lenoir County on making application to become a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities!

Part of the larger AARP Livable Communities initiative, the network supports elected officials, partner organizations, and local leaders in assessing, planning, implementing, and evaluating locally determined and directed policies and programs to improve quality of life and support for all people living in member towns, cities, counties, and states.

Alexis Welch, dean of Health Sciences and Nursing at Lenoir County Community College and executive committee member of the NC Action Coalition, says: “Lenoir County is excited about the opportunity to develop a Master Aging Plan to provide the best place to live for all ages. As a Tier One county designated with socioeconomic distress, the needs of our aging population are profound and known. A comprehensive Master Aging Plan is critical for the wellbeing of our aging population. We will address this plan collaboratively. Our goal is that a comprehensive Master Aging Plan can be used as a model for other rural areas to promote age-friendly global communities. This is the first opportunity that our city and county will have to really make a difference in the lives of our citizens across the lifespan. It will the first of a coming together of a broad-brush stroke of constituents to better the lives of Lenoir County residents. Great things will happen for us in Lenoir County because of this endeavor.”

Catherine Sevier, state president of AARP North Carolina and co-lead for the NC Action Coalition, says: “The AARP Livable Communities initiative works to educate and inspire elected officials, local leaders, planners, and citizen activists on how to identify their community’s specific needs and then create and implement the programs, policies, and projects that will help meet those needs.”

North Carolina has been active in this endeavor, knowing that one of the ways we can create a Culture of Health is by focusing on age-friendly communities that are focused on the needs of people at all ages. This is particularly important in NC as we are a diverse state with many needs for coordinated services. Today we have nine communities representing over three million North Carolinians who have successfully applied to join the network.

For the NC Action Coalition, the partnership with AARP is a natural one. Nurses promote health at the intersection between the community and the health care delivery system. We often see the impact of social determinants of health on people’s lives and can act on their behalf to promote community initiatives that facilitate health.

We are so excited that Lenoir has applied and that the NC Action Coalition is represented in making this happen! They will change the quality of life for people in Lenoir, and we know that we can make a difference in other communities looking to join the network.