City Announces Age-Friendly Community Designation

Published on January 11, 2024

Residents invited to participate in survey regarding older adults

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird today said Lincoln’s new designation as an AARP Age-Friendly Community shows the City’s commitment to enrich the lives of older adults as well as improve the quality of life for all residents.

“The City of Lincoln’s pursuit of this designation reflects our commitment to being an inclusive, age-friendly community that enhances the lives of seniors, and in doing so, improves quality of life for everyone,” Mayor Gaylor Baird said. “By adhering to AARP’s principles and fostering an accessible, connected, and supportive community, we help accelerate my administration’s goal to make Lincoln the Quality-of-Life Capital of the country.”

Communities in the AARP Age-Friendly Network pledge to implement changes that make communities more livable for people of all ages, especially older adults. Priorities for Age-Friendly communities include development of public spaces, transportation and housing. Lincoln is the largest city in the state to obtain the designation. Grand Island is the only other Nebraska member of the AARP Network.

Joining Mayor Gaylor Baird at the news conference were Randy Jones, Aging Partners Director; Todd Stubbendieck, AARP Nebraska Director; and Dr. Julie Masters, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Gerontology Professor.

Jones said membership in the Network is important because 14%, or more than 40,000, Lincoln residents are age 65 and older. That number expected to grow to 22% over the next 10 years, he said.

“With the growth of our senior population, we have an obligation and an opportunity to create an even more age-friendly Lincoln,” Jones said.

Jones cited the recently opened Fitlot in Woods Park as an example of the City’s commitment to improving the quality of life for older adults and said Aging Partners will continue to determine Lincoln’s age-friendly priorities via community meetings and an online survey.

Created by AARP, the survey is available at Paper copies of the survey are available at Victory Park, 600 South 70th St. The survey will be open until at least 500 responses have been submitted.

Stubbendieck noted that in a recent AARP Livability Index report, Lincoln was ranked first for livability in Nebraska and ranked 11th nationally for large communities in categories such as housing, transportation, health status, and community engagement.

“Today’s commitment by Mayor Gaylor Baird and the City of Lincoln will establish a structured, community-driven process for examining ways the city can become more age-friendly and will promote and recognize improvements that will benefit Lincolnites of all ages,” Stubbendieck said.

The City’s efforts to help older adults age successfully shows those residents that they are valued members of the community, Masters said.

“The longer we can keep people healthy and independent, the longer they are able to retain a preferred lifestyle as they age with the necessary infrastructure, aging services, and community resources that are the result of thoughtful and intentional planning,” Masters said.

Mayor Gaylor Baird also issued a proclamation declaring January 11 as “AARP Age-Friendly Community Day.” Age-Friendly Lincoln Steering Committee members in attendance included: David Cary, Planning Department Director; Pat Lopez, Health Department Director; LTU Director Liz Elliott; Maggie Stuckey-Ross, Parks and Recreation Director; Heather Loughman, Community Action Partnership CEO; Michaella Kumke, Food Bank of Lincoln CEO; Tom Randa, Good Neighbor Center Executive Director; and Peter Hind, Urban Development Director.

More information on Aging Partners is available at or by calling 402-441-7070. 

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