Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced Wednesday that the District would team up with AARP and the World Health Organization for a pilot program aimed at making the city more accessible to seniors.
AARP will be part of a task force that will oversee the three-year implementation of the a strategic plan to improve the lives of the District’s senior population. The plan will address getting nutritious meals to the elderly and ensuring that they have access to recreational and social activities and housing.
Gray (D) announced the strategic plan and the pilot program during his biweekly news conference at the Washington Senior Wellness Center in Southeast Washington.
The plan follows an assessment of senior needs that Gray directed be completed by the city’s Office on Aging. The last assessment was conducted in 1978 for a city in which the younger population is now growing and longtime, elderly residents complain of being pushed out by the lack of affordable housing.
“This is a fundamental shift that we’re talking about,” said Gray, who turns 70 next month. “I think this is a movement that will take off nationally.”
John M. Thompson, executive director of the aging office, said the task force would tackle issues that lead to “social isolation” of the elderly, such as a lack of transportation.