In May 2021, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission (SWGRC) and its 14 counties became the first Age-Friendly designated Region in the United States. The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities is a program of the AARP Livable Communities initiative and serves as the organizational affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. With this designation, the Region is joining an elite worldwide network. Currently, in the United States, more than 100 million people live in an age-friendly designated area, which includes more than 500 cities/counties, eight states, and one territory.
Debra Tyler-Horton, AARP Georgia State Director, expressed her enthusiasm and support of SWGRC becoming the very first region in the country to be granted this prestigious designation. “The Region’s membership into the network reinforces its commitment to become more accessible, convenient and, ultimately, more livable for residents of all ages and abilities. The SWGRC currently offers many attractions for people who want to live, work, or visit the area.” According to Tyler-Horton, “this Age-Friendly commitment to enhance livability features will help to ensure the Region becomes a more vibrant area as we move forward.”
On behalf of the SWGRC, Executive Director Suzanne Angell is honored to receive the designation. “It is very gratifying to see that the AARP and WHO also recognize that the Region is actively working to enhance the quality of life features for residents of our 14 counties. We are proud of the progress and ongoing efforts in our region to address other areas that relate to affordable and accessible housing and transportation, as well as community and civic engagement features like outdoor spaces, recreational/social events, and civic and economic outreach.”
Visit the SWGRC to learn more about the organization.