According to AARP, Hawaii has the fastest growing gaining population in the United States. The organization projects a quarter of the state’s population will be 65 years old or older in 16 years.
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“We find that the Asian population lives about three years to four years longer than the average person,” said Barbara Stanton, AARP Hawaii State Director.
Hawaii has one of the highest percentages of people 85 years and older. Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell put together the “Age Friendly City” advisory committee to help the city cater to its growing senior population.
Mike Formby of the City and County Department of Transportation Services, said the initiative is about creating a society where people can age in place.
“When you get older, you like to stay in your home with your surroundings and if we could create communities that have health care and service, they can age in place instead of going to a retirement home,” Formby said.
The task force will focus on two areas: physical infrastructure and the social aspect and quality of life.
“We are going to identify those impediments where it’s as simple as a crosswalk or the time it takes to board or the future the time it takes to get off a train and then down to the street level to board a bus,” Formby said.
Formby said getting the city senior friendly is going to take some time. He said they are half way through the planning process. Once they set the final plans, it will take another three years to implement those ideas.