“Aging My Way” in North Carolina

Blog | October 14, 2022


On October 5, 2022, the Age My Way Summit in Raleigh convened policymakers, aging experts, and advocates for a day to “Learn what people have said is important to them in the comprehensive Age My Way NC Survey [and] help … identify the next steps needed to ensure North Carolina is a great place for the very old, the very young, and everyone in between.” The summit – convened by AARP NC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services – featured:


  • Remarks by Governor Roy Cooper,
  • A presentation of survey results showing what people want as they age in North Carolina,
  • A presentation on the purpose and status of the NCIOM Task Force on Healthy Aging,
  • Facilitated discussions about the age-friendly livability domains,
  • A panel featuring representatives from communities participating in the NC Age Friendly Network, and
  • A presentation on the connection to the upcoming North Carolina Master Plan for Aging.


Governor Cooper spoke passionately about his administration’s activities to address the needs of an aging population and highlighted the many ways that older adults contribute to our communities. He encourages people to see the aging population less in terms of challenges and more in terms of the opportunities as this population helps to create vibrant communities. This includes the economic power of older adults and the large amount of unpaid work they provide through volunteerism and as caregivers for other aging family members.


A panel highlighted experiences from three communities participating in North Carolina’s Age Friendly Network – Mayor Don Hardy of Kinston, Jennifer Teague of Buncombe County, and Janice Tylor of Orange County. Each community defines for itself what projects will be done to address the 8 Domains of Livability:


  1. Outdoor spaces and buildings
  2. Transportation
  3. Housing
  4. Social participation
  5. Respect and social inclusion
  6. Work and civic engagement
  7. Communication and information
  8. Community and health services


Co-chairs for the Task force on Healthy Aging – Tamara Baker and Dennis Streets – were joined by task force project director Brieanne Lyda-McDonald to discuss the four topics the task force is focusing on related to aging in place in the community: falls prevention, mobility, nutrition and food security, and social connections. These topics intersect in many ways with the 8 Domains of Livability and are impacted by the social determinants of health. The task force will be meeting through the end of the year to finalize recommendations for structures, investments, practices, research, and policies to address the needs of older adults in North Carolina to safely age – and engage – in the communities they live in. The final task force report will be published in early spring 2023.