In an effort to inspire community members to imagine the role of technology and independence, the City invited the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing to host an Innovations Café at the annual Spring Health Fair. Technologies showcased included PARO’s caregiving robot, the Stitch companionship website, the Music and Memory℠ engagement program, Lively’s monitoring kit, and the Samsung Gear VR virtual reality headset.
Recreation, Health, and Wellness
THE FOLLOWING INITIATIVES ARE MOVING THE CITY TOWARDS IMPROVING RECREATION, HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Develop Smart Homes Pilot Program
Provide digital training for Generation WH
West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation provides on-site computer skills classes for all age groups including seniors.
Establish WeHo League of Mixologists
The City worked with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs program to strengthen the hospitality industry’s ability to reduce alcohol-related incidents.
CASE STUDY: IMPLEMENT ROBUST AGING IN PLACE STRATEGY
In 2015, The City initiated the development of a five-year strategic plan – “Aging in Place, Aging in Community” – to help the City evolve as a community where aging is embraced, and where people can remain in the housing of their choice for as long as possible. The plan builds on the City’s existing policies and programs, such as arts and cultural events, lifespan-friendly housing, senior services, and other approaches to wellness, while responding to the demographic trend of people living longer and living independently in their homes.
Unlike similar plans in other municipalities, this action-oriented plan was designed side-by-side with the community, rather than with a top-down approach as in typical aging in place policies. The plan addresses needs through innovation, more community connectivity, and incorporating other government and non-profit agency help. A few of these innovative strategies include:
- Accommodating older adults with sight and hearing challenges by improving the number and effectiveness of audible signals at crosswalks, longer crossing times and innovative uses of technology such as amplification using smart phones;
- Supporting community members who may not have access to technology or who are not digitally literate by providing computers at Plummer Park and the West Hollywood Library and by developing community‐based in‐home assistance via electronic technology capacities; and
- Providing digital GIS-based resource guides for clients, caregivers, family members, and social services providers with culturally inclusive information.
In April 2016, City Council approved the strategic plan, and shortly thereafter, the City was designated by AARP as an Age Friendly City, and by the World Health Organization as part of the Age Friendly Global Network. Evaluation and implementation of the plan began in summer 2016 and will continue for five years.
PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
- Work with the Chamber of Commerce to develop a mapping tool for age-friendly businesses.