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Age-Friendly Communities & Rural America

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The Transportation Challenge

This inaugural webinar in GIA's Age-Friendly series, looks at another aspect of the age-friendly movement in rural America, the transportation challenge. There are approximately 10 million people age 65 and older living in rural America, and one out of four lives in a small town or other rural areas. Transportation options in rural areas tend to be more limited. Access to transportation is a rural imperative as it is a huge determining factor in aging well. Here are a few of the reasons why anyone working with older adults in rural areas needs to be concerned with transportation.


  • is critical for community engagement, independence, and self-determination. 
  • is key to combat isolation 
  • supports economic security and volunteerism 
  • provides access to healthcare and preventive services, nutrition and other social opportunities, 
  • provides much needed support to caregivers 

An age-friendly community is a better community, with benefits to people of all ages. It’s an opportunity to solve problems that are more pressing for the aging, but are relevant to the entire community. Over the past five years, GIA has built partnerships and funding initiatives focused on helping communities become great places to grow up and grow old. Although age-friendly initiatives started in larger cities, the movement is now spreading to rural communities. And rural America, known as the heartbeat of America, is just that, the home where we grow up and grow old. 

As the age-friendly movement takes root in rural America, it is changing in response to the specific dynamics and character of rural communities. Join us as we hear from two Foundations and one local Association of Governments who have embraced the fundamental need for rural aging transportation, taken the first steps to build and fund programs, and discuss the importance of partnerships in rural America. 

Moderator: John Feather, CEO Grantmakers in Aging. Panelists: Laura Mason, Program Officer, May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust; Andrew Levack, MPH, Senior Program Officer, St. David’s Foundation; Amy St. Peter, Assistant Director, Maricopa Association of Governments. Webinar date: Thursday, January 18, 2017. View the recording below or on the GIA YouTube channel at https://youtu.be/zk9RYS5ZltI


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