County of Marin - News Releases - Age Friendly Designation

For Immediate Release
September 05, 2018

County Officially Earns ‘Age Friendly’ Designation

Marin joins World Health Organization and AARP Global Network

San Rafael, CA – The County of Marin has been accepted into the World Health Organization (WHO) and AARP Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, joining an expanding worldwide movement that is striving to better meet the needs of the growing population of older residents.

An older man smiles at the camera next to a sign that says Live Long Live Well.Projections forecast that by 2030, at least one in three Marin residents will be 60 or older.

The WHO and AARP (the WHO’s American affiliate) define an age-friendly community as inclusive and respectful to residents of every age and ability. It’s a community that promotes active aging, good health and quality of life by looking at adequate housing, transportation, safe outdoor spaces and buildings, access to health and social services and opportunities for civic engagement and participation.

On August 7, the Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved submitting the County’s application for membership into the global network. The action builds upon the Board’s proclamation of 2018 as the Year of the Older Adult, celebrating the contributions of older adults while recognizing that more needs to be done support them. Currently, 27 percent of Marin County’s population is age 60 or older and by 2030 projections indicate at least one in three Marin residents will be 60 or older. 

As a member of the WHO and AARP age-friendly network, the County is making a five-year commitment to assess the age friendliness of County departments and unincorporated areas and create a plan to make Marin more livable for people of all ages. The County’s membership expands Marin’s age-friendly movement that began in many cities in 2014. Since then, six of Marin’s 11 incorporated cities have joined the network; Sausalito was the first, followed by Corte Madera, Fairfax, Novato, Mill Valley and San Rafael. Efforts are underway in the remaining municipalities of Belvedere, Tiburon, Larkspur, Ross and San Anselmo to explore or pursue membership in the global network.

“Marin is ahead of the curve with many age-friendly cities already on board,” said Rafi Nazarians, AARP state associate director for community.  “It is a natural extension to have the County of Marin join the global network and create a more sustainable, integrated effort throughout the county.”

Work has been launched with formation of an advisory committee comprised of County department managers and representative leadership from other organizations and unincorporated areas. The committee will help to guide how the assessment is conducted and the plan developed.  

“Our aim is for people to live long and live well with a good quality of life,” said Lee Pullen, Marin County Director of Aging and Adult Services.  “Joining the WHO and AARP network is a significant step forward in realizing our vision that Marin County be a place where all older adults are included and valued in our community.”

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Lee Pullen
Director, Aging and Adult Services
Health and Human Services

10 North San Pedro Rd.
Suite 1023
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2689
Email: Lee Pullen
Marin HHS website