Author: Teresa Sansone Ferguson

As the year winds down, I am feeling grateful to everyone in our AustinUP online community for your interest and enthusiasm. But today, I will kindly request a little more of you. I am asking for your financial support of our work to shape the future of aging in Austin. Now is the time. Your tax-deductible contribution to this movement is critical.

Looking back on 2016, I am proud to say that AustinUP has made great strides and accomplishments:

  • Helped create and promote the Age-friendly Austin Action Plan– and worked with the Mayor and City Council to get it adopted
  • Hosted the first-ever 55+ in ATX Job & Volunteer Fair
  • Helped create and expand a network of Austin technology innovators, resources and investors working in the aging space
  • Served as fiscal agent and “incubator” for the newly formed Austin LGBT Coalition on Aging
  • Connected with local universities, researchers and students to promote research related to aging
  • Hosted community focus groups on a range of topics, including “What Makes a Business Age-friendly?” and “What Makes a Neighborhood Age-friendly?”

Austin City Council Adopts Age-friendly Austin Plan;
Promotes Age-friendly Presentation as Part of Imagine Austin Speaker Series

(Wednesday, November 16, 2016) – The Austin City Council, at its November 3 meeting, voted to adopt the Age-friendly Austin Plan and actively promote and work toward Austin becoming more age-friendly in support of our city’s current and future older adults.

A working group of community members created by Austin’s Commission on Seniors developed the Age-friendly Austin Plan. Sally Van Sickle, who represents District 9 on the Commission on Seniors, said, “Austin has always been considered a young, vibrant and innovative city. Approval of this Age-friendly Austin Plan will help us maintain that reputation as vibrant and innovative even as our median age moves upward.”

We are proud and excited to share KUT's news coverage of the November 3rd vote re: the Age-friendly Austin Plan. Special thanks to Councilmembers Kitchen, Poole, and Casar, Mayor Pro Tem Tovo and Mayor Adler for their support. Excerpt from KUT's article, "Austin Adopts Plan To Be More "Age-Friendly": ...

Had to share this document, entitled The Future of Aging: Realizing the Potential of Longevity, here on our website. It was produced by the Milken Institute, a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank. It is one of the best resources for anyone interested in age-progressive thought leadership and new attitudes about aging. Plus it features a piece written by Texas' own Henry Cisneros. We find...

A very important step in the implementation of our Age-friendly Austin Plan is coming up this Thursday, October 6. The Austin City Council, at its regular weekly meeting, will vote on adding an age-friendly amendment to the Imagine Austin Plan. Their approval of this amendment will allow AustinUP and our community partners to work with City of...

SXSW Interactive 2016 provided many opportunities to learn about medical and technology innovation related to aging. It was an adventure that left us feeling hopeful about the future of aging.

Panels and presenters discussed:

  • “Personal assistants” that include Apple’s Siri and “smart devices” such as Amazon’s Alexa (Echo) that make everything you need “just a conversation away”
  • Easier access to healthcare through telemedicine
  • A “smart” grocery cart that drives itself and helps shoppers make healthier food choices at the grocery store
  • A “pharmacy of the future” that manages prescription refills, deliveries, doctor approvals, and packaging into patients’ daily doses
  • A debit card with special security features to prevent fraud against seniors

In September 2015, Austin’s Commission on Seniors formed a working group comprised of members of the Commission, AARP, AustinUP as well as local and regional service organizations, to bring to fruition recommendations from the Mayor’s Task Force on Aging, including the development of an Action Plan to transform Austin into an Age-friendly City. This working group has met weekly to outline a five-year plan, and identify goals and strategies. Before we move forward with the next phase – communication with City leaders – we would like to hear feedback from the community about the plan and the goals we have identified. This is your opportunity to tell us what you like – and what we missed. Working with AARP, we have scheduled three free community events in April and May. (See dates below.) We hope that you can join us at one of these sessions to add your voice to this process. 

AustinUP hosted a focus group on Saturday, March 5, 2016, at Wildflower Terrace in the Mueller neighborhood. We welcomed 34 participants. Mary Anne Connolly, principal at MACMedia and founder of @changehoweage Twitter and Facebook feeds, facilitated a 90-minute discussion about the aspects, features, people, etc. that make a neighborhood age-friendly. We looked at neighborhoods using the 8...