Marc Middleton, the Emmy Award-winning CEO and founder of Growing Bolder, joined Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and AARP State Director Jeff Johnson to kick off the county’s Age-Friendly Initiative.
The first step in the initiative is a Livable Communities Survey that is open all Orange County residents 18 years and older, including residents of the municipalities within the county. The initiative will give county leaders access to aging experts and will provide information about what local residents want and need in their communities as well as help the county build safe, affordable, livable communities.
Residents can access the survey online at www.ocfl.net/age-friendly or call 407-254-9277 for a paper copy.
Middleton told the crowd at the Taft Community Center in south Orlando, “This is without question, the greatest time in the history of humankind to be over the age of 40, 60, 80 or even 100.”
Middleton, author of “Growing Bolder: Defy the Cult of Youth” and “Rock Stars of Aging,” said changing society’s view of aging is key to individual health and the community’s quality of life.
“A moment at 80, a moment at 90 is every bit as valuable as a moment at 18 or 19,” Middleton said.
Demings, who noted he was part of the 50-plus community, said he recently helped his father celebrate his 99th birthday.
“And let me tell you, he has definite opinions on how he wants to live in our community,” Demings said.
The results of the survey will help county leaders identify the needs of seniors to make sure those needs are addressed in the county’s strategic plans for parks, housing and transportation, Demings said.
Demings said the survey included younger people because, “today’s youth are tomorrow’s seniors.”
Growing Bolder is a multimedia company based in Orlando, Florida. The company, founded by Emmy-winner Marc Middleton in 2007, includes a TV program carried nationally on PBS stations, a radio program on NPR affiliates, a podcast and a popular lifestyle magazine.