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Fearless Aging:

As an ongoing piece, I like to highlight folks that are truly senior rockstars – these are folks that are passionate, committed, contributing, pushing boundaries or are in someway really challenging our assumptions about what it means to age.

First up, a rockstar in general who also happens to be aging quite fantastically, Gloria Steinem. Just last week, Terry Gross interviewed Gloria (who is 81), including excerpts from their 1982 interview, which also adds an interesting aging perspective.

Commission on Disability Issues


The Commission on Disability Issues is interested in incorporating Universal Design criteria within their housing ordinance, with the goal of ensuring that accessible housing is incorporated within all new developments. The timing is critical, as the City of Alameda took over about 900 hundred acres of land from the navy after the Naval Air Station closed in 1997. By far the largest single development within the city, the first phase of construction calls for 800 units of housing and 60,000 sq.ft. of commercial space. The potential impact of this UD housing ordinance is considerable and advocating on behalf of the community’s considerable disabled and aging population, the commission is working closely with the planning department. I provided technical and research support, and help navigating the process of presenting to the planning board. The ordinance is still in negotiations with the hope that it will be presented to and pass the board by 2016.

For more information, see THIS article or visit the Commission on Disability Issues website HERE.

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At Home with Growing Older


A multidisciplinary group of professionals within the aging field, At Home with Growing Older (AHWGO) hosts monthly talks, presentations or discussions that focus on some aspect of aging. A team of us are planning a June event that focuses on an age-friendly planning and the built environment – more information will be shared as the date draws nearer.

To find out more about At Home with Growing Older or to see upcoming events, please check out their website HERE.

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Industry Analysis


At the request of the Los Angeles Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, we did an in-depth industry analysis of the assisted living facility industry within Los Angeles County. Research included procedures and methods of sectorial investigation at the regional, industrial, company, and labor force levels. Created a detailed industry profile which focused on the characteristics and trends within the specific assisted living facility industry, including: markets, competition and commodity chains, geography and spatial considerations, labor force and management, ownership, government relations, using mixed methods that included interviews and qualitative research.

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Master’s thesis


As an urban planner with an interest in ensuring accessible, inclusive, and age-friendly cities, I became really interested in the recent growth of cities implementing city-wide age-friendly plans. As a new and growing field, there are considerable opportunities for both practitioners as well as researchers within this area.

Curious about the grassroots nature of most age-friendly plans as well as the lack of long-term data, my question was really about whether the indicators cities use to create, ensure, and measure age-friendliness are the most effective and efficient. While there is considerable research that focuses on elements that contribute to an age-friendly city, characteristics of urban seniors, and qualities and programs that support those aging in cities, there was not yet any research that focused on existing age-friendly plans and the indicators they were using to determine age-friendliness.

I’m interested in policy implementation and, with this research, whether the tools used to measure and determine a city’s age-friendliness are the most effective. I specifically focused on the indicators both cities, professionals, and established research have determined as the most efficient, and with the help of over 30 aging and built environment professionals, developed a list of 24 key indicators that would ensure an age-friendly city.

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Preparing for the Senior Tsunami


Hosted by UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate in partnership with Mercy Housing, the event was focused on housing challenges, needs, and opportunities as they pertain to the growing aging population.The speakers included:

  • Ben Phillips, regional VP of healthcare and housing innovations at Mercy Housing California
  • Dr. Fernando Torres-Gil, professor of social welfare and public policy at UCLA and director of the Center for Policy Research in Aging
  • Cindy Kauffman, COO at the Institute on Aging in San Francisco
  • David Farell, a consultant and licensed nursing home administrator

More about the event can be found HERE.

Related Photo

Ziman Event_photo

Age Friendly City

Ensuring cities are built for everyone