Recently, I had the pleasure of attending Age Friendly Sarasota’s Bright Spots Breakfast celebrating the group achievement of the first-in-the-nation Age-Friendly Festival. Along with more than 140 Festival engagers, advancers, educators, and entertainers, we were treated to an inspiring original production of "Live Work and Play in an Age-Friendly Way,"
and an energizing video of the Age-Friendly Festival.
Both were received with spontaneous applause from an appreciative audience.
The festival was a uniquely successful event where the age-friendly movement engaged thousands of the general public as never before. A gift from The Patterson Foundation, the festival amplified community, organizational and individual achievement, and advancement. It also displayed the strong intergenerational nature of our community. For years we’ve been discussing the unique demographics of Sarasota County, often from an older adult perspective. Meanwhile, we may have underplayed what might be an even rarer and more precious phenomenon: the almost symmetrical age-balance of Sarasota County.
This pie chart is illuminating, showing one third of the population under age 35, one third 35–64, and one third 65+. Yes, our community is demographically older, but it’s also uniquely and wonderfully age-balanced. It’s like the human lifecycle in community form. As we look at our county’s historic role in the global longevity revolution, we need to understand the importance of these demographics. A Community for All Ages isn’t just a feel-good slogan here; it’s our reality. It’s our gift, our shared opportunity to thrive together intergenerationally. And most importantly, to continue to spread the message that everyone has a stake in becoming age-friendly. A true community #ForAllAges benefits all of us and is owned by all of us.
Age-Friendly Sarasota will continue to optimize opportunities to connect, learn, share, evolve and strengthen our beautifully balanced Community for All Ages.