Healthy Aging

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Grandmother holding up grandchild.

Aging doesn’t start at a specific time or age in life. It’s a normal, life-long process. Healthy aging means keeping and developing the abilities that make health and wellbeing possible in older age, so people can age in the way they want to. Learn how Saint Paul - Ramsey County Public Health's Healthy Aging Initiative is taking action to enable healthy aging in Ramsey County.

Focusing on healthy aging is important because of new realities:

  • The current population of people who have now reached 55 years of age is growing rapidly. For the first time in the county’s history, there are now more older adults in the county than school-age children.
  • A growing number of older adults are involving in caring for their grandchildren.
  • The diversity of older adults is increasing.
  • Many adults 55+ years older are more active than previous generations. They want to stay in their homes and communities as they age and to contribute to society.

Aging in place/aging in community

A growing number of older adults want to age in their homes, which has been described as “aging in place.” That idea is evolving into “aging in community,” which recognizes that healthy aging is not an individual process. Government systems, organizational practices, environments and programs impact the ability of older adults to stay in their homes and have choices as they age. Those elements affect some communities inequitably and don’t always recognize the strengths of elders. Communities are stronger when they are more equitable and view older adults as assets.

Livable communities

Livable communities contribute to healthy aging. They are equitable places where residents can thrive as they age. Older adults feel valued, safe and have affordable and accessible housing and transportation options. Livable communities recognize and celebrate the strengths and contributions of older adults. They increase engagement through connections with others. 

People of all ages and abilities benefit when communities enable healthy aging. Sidewalks that are smooth help people who walk with a cane; they also make life easier for someone pushing a stroller. Learn more about livable communities from AARP.

Healthy Aging Initiative

Age-friendly and Equity Alliance, Ramsey County