D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has appointed a task force to examine ways to improve the quality of life for older adults in the nation’s capital. Included on the task force is Mario Acosta-Velez, Verizon’s director of state government affairs and chairman of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
The new Age-Friendly DC Task Force will develop a strategic plan by 2017 to improve security, increase independence, boost health outcomes and enable more purposeful living based on recommendations from the senior community. The overall goal is to make the District friendly to those at all stages of life.
The DC Office on Aging has been gathering input from older residents for a year. Community consultations will continue through the fall, involving District residents in group discussions about the city they envision. In early 2014, the Age-Friendly DC Task Force will consider the feedback it received and make recommendations to the mayor about the work that the District’s public and private sectors must undertake to transform the city. The plan will build on city improvements already implemented to enhance various aspects of community life and ensure they are friendlier to aging residents.
Verizon has shown its commitment to older adults through its various health and technology fairs in the District where seniors receive free health and wellness information; one-on-one training on how to navigate the features on their wireless devices; tips on emergency preparedness and being safe on the Internet; and information on discounted phone services. Refreshments and giveaways are often provided at these events.