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Salt Lake City's New "Aging in Place" Initiative is Launched

Salt Lake City officials launched an initiative called “Aging in Place” Friday on an Avenues Pickleball Court. Mayor Ralph Becker also announced the city’s application to join the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. Allen Ormsby is the director of AARP Utah. He says people know that Utah has the youngest population in the country.

“But according to the Division of Aging and Adult Services, we also have the sixth fastest aging population. So we have a lot of work to do,” says Ormsby.

Keith Diaz-Moore is the Dean of the University of Utah College of Architecture + Planning. He says his department will be heavy involved in the WHO application. And that all future design and construction should be around access.

“So certainly whether it’s the curb cuts, making sure the sidewalks are maintained, making sure that there are sidewalks where they needed to be. That is a significant limitation to independence,” says Diaz-Moore.

Mayor Becker reminisced about his mother, Ann Watters Becker, who passed away last month at age 93.

“She was so determined to be independent," Becker says. "And we all recognize how hard that is as someone loses more and more of their faculties; physical and mental, and this initiative is going to go a long ways.”

Becker says the city is committed to making a community livable for all. He says the new website has been built as a one-stop resource for mature residents.  

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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