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City of Barberton Launches Age Well Community

May 20, 2013. The biggest small town in America responds to the needs of an aging population by providing access to information, resources and volunteers.

Barberton, Ohio is the first city in the country to implement a new concept for its older citizens and their family members by joining forces with the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging (BRIA) and Serality, a Boston-based company that enables local online communities and social networks for older adults, to become an “Age Well Community” (AWC). The AWC program is available to communities nationwide that seek to improve the quality of life for their older adults by using proven methods and ready-to-use content, all managed on the AWC cloud-based technology solution.

AWC is based on empowering people to remain productive, engaged, and independent as they age. Communities that participate in AWC will follow Barberton’s lead and are committed to finding and creating solutions for older citizens and their families at all stages of life.

“Here in Barberton we are taking the lead in making our city an Age Well Community,” said Barberton Mayor, Bill Judge. “It’s no secret that our country's population is aging and Barberton is no exception. Almost 90% of people say they want to stay in their homes and continue to live independently as they age, but that means communities must adapt and make an effort to become much more age-friendly. The AWC Program allows us to do in weeks what would take us much longer if we had embarked on this project alone. Barberton is already a great place to live; we are working with our local and national partners to actively make it an even better place to grow old.”

“Communities play a key role in the quality of our lives as we grow older,” said Richard Browdie, President and CEO of Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. “Our own sense of community revolves around the place we live and raise our families; the geographic area that we call home. Barberton is such a place; full of civic pride. We need to shift our focus to enhance that sense of community, and create more connections between people in order to age well. We believe Barberton’s community spirit, combined with the use of the latest technology and proven ways to remain healthy and independent, can help improve the future of aging in America.”

The AWC program is a city-wide effort, led by the Mayor’s Office, to improve the overall quality of life for Barberton’s older citizens by providing:

The Mayor’s office is forming a steering committee to be chaired by resident and Ward 6 Councilwoman Carol Frey. Residents and local businesses interested in getting involved with this exciting initiative should go to www.awcbarberton.com for more information.

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Media Contact: Jeanne Hoban, jhoban@benrose.org, 216.373.1686

Additional Contact: Melissa McFadden, City of Barberton, MMcFadden@cityofbarberton.com, 330.848.6719

Additional Contact: Kim Agricola, Serality, Inc., kim@serality.com, 508.625.1168

 

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