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Southwest Georgia becomes the first Age-Friendly Designated Region in the country

Pictured left to right are Paul Nagy, Chairman of the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission;
Suzanne Angell, Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission; and  Barbara Reddick, Deputy Director of the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission

Effective May 27, 2021, the Southwest Georgia Regional Commission and the Region’s 14 counties became the first Age Friendly Designated Region in the United States.  The AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities is a program of the AARP Livable Communities initiative and serves as the organizational affiliate of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities. 

With this designation, the Region is joining an elite worldwide network. Currently in the United States, more than 100 million residents live in an age friendly designated area, which includes more than 500 cities/counties, eight states and one territory.

Debra Tyler-Horton, AARP Georgia State Director, expressed her enthusiasm and support of having the very First Region in the country to be granted this prestigious designation.  “The Region’s membership into the network reinforces its commitment to become more accessible, convenient and, ultimately, more livable for residents of all ages and abilities.”

What an honor to be approved as an Age-Friendly Region by the WHO and AARP, added Suzanne Angell, SWG Regional Commission Executive Director.  It is very gratifying to see that the AARP and WHO also recognize that the Region is actively working to enhance quality of life features for residents of our 14 counties.  Furthermore, as stated by Ms. Angell, “we are proud of the progress and ongoing efforts in our region to address other areas that relate to affordable and accessible housing and transportation, as well as community and civic engagement features like outdoor spaces, recreational/social events and civic and economic outreach.”

The Southwest Georgia Region currently offers many attractions for people who want to live, work, or visit the area.  According to Tyler-Horton, “This Age-Friendly commitment to enhance livability features will help to ensure the Region becomes a more vibrant area as we move forward.”

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