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The City of Austin Commission on Seniors serves as an advisory board to the City Council concerning the quality of life for senior citizens in the Austin area. This volunteer commission advises the Council on issues related to older adults in the Austin area; evaluates and recommends programs, policies, and practices that create a positive impact and reduce...

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?”

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...

Family members provide about 70 percent of long-term care services, according to a survey by the American College of Financial Services. Not only are more boomers childless, those who do have children have fewer than the previous generation. Trendsetters from the start, the boomers have spawned a new phenomenon: caregiver shortage. Read the entire article from NextAvenue.org.  ...

WHY do we have such punitive attitudes toward old people? Granted, the ancients did hideous things to elders who were unable to work but still needed food and care, but in more recent times, that had changed: In 18th-century New England, it was common for people to make themselves seem older by adding years to...