Everyone knows that Austin has long been one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. What most people don’t know is that while our overall population grew nearly 40% between 2000 and 2010, the number of us over the age of 55 grew by 80%. Results of the 2010 U.S. Census showed that the Austin area had the nation’s fastest-growing population of people between 55 and 64, and the second fastest-growing population of people 65 and over.
Yet policy priorities, funding, and opportunities for older adults were all but invisible.
In response to Austin’s increasing age diversity, former Mayor Lee Leffingwell convened a Task Force on Aging in 2012-13. He charged the group with developing strategic recommendations to ensure our aging neighbors have the resources to be healthy, independent and integrated into community life.
The Task Force was comprised of a diverse group of leaders from non-profit organizations, funding entities, business, and academia. The St. David’s Foundation and Seton Foundation provided leadership and support.
Additionally, 15 graduate students from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas conducted research to support the Task Force’s efforts. Students met with area experts, studied national best practices, and engaged approximately 500 local seniors through a multi-topic survey.
The result of the Task Force efforts includes a Report and a set of Recommendations that focus resources on ensuring adequate supports are in place to help each of us continue to contribute to our community while we age with dignity.
The Task Force recommended two new vehicles to ensure our community successfully serves and benefits from the aging of our population over time: a new City of Austin Commission on Seniors, and a new independent nonprofit group to convene, advocate and coordinate across the community: AustinUP.
“AustinUP is doing exactly what the Mayor’s Task Force on Aging envisioned – convening, advocating and connecting people and ideas to improve aging in Austin.”
Central Texas continues to attract older adults at increasing numbers. People aged 65+ as well as those 55-64 are still this region’s fastest-growing demographic.
AustinUP, a 501(c)(3) community alliance, works with local and regional business and civic leaders, entrepreneurs, non-profit service organizations and a multigenerational group of passionate individuals to raise the profile of our senior population and prepare our community for the future of aging. Our focus areas:
AustinUP in the Media
– AustinUP featured in Marc Miller’s Career Pivot podcast #155 about the expectations of older job seekers. (December 2019)
– AustinUP Hosts 50+ Job Fair at Soléa Cedar Park (KXAN, November 2019)
– Lakeway Job Fair Highlights Untapped Market of Employees over 50 (Austin American-Statesman, November 2019)
– Decibel, KLRU’s news and public affairs initiative, hosted a roundtable discussion about aging, which included AustinUP Executive Director Teresa Sansone Ferguson. Decibel also produced an aging-related half-hour special. (KLRU/Decibel, February 2019)
– “Connecting the Dots to Make Austin an Age-progressive City” (IBM’s Age and Ability Blog, July 2017)
– “Nonprofit AustinUP Aims to Support Aging Population in Austin” (Community Impact Newspaper, April 2017)
– “Lifestyle Options Open Up for Lake Travis Retirees” (Community Impact Newspaper, March 2017)