Working to ensure that the Atlanta region is a place where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes can live high quality lives, regardless of location.
On average, people are living longer than ever before, but that’s not true for everyone. In fact, individual longevity can vary by as much as two decades or more, based on a range of socio-economic factors such as race, housing security, and income.
In metro Atlanta, lifespans differ greatly based on geography. For example, residents of Vinings can expect to live to age 87. Less than ten miles away in Atlanta’s English Avenue neighborhood, life expectancy is 63. That’s a 24-year difference. Disparities can be found within every county in the region.
While some may attribute poor health outcomes to personal choices, research indicates the story is much more complicated. Life expectancy is shaped by numerous and complex factors, from health considerations like access to care to environmental considerations such as access to sidewalks. Many of these variables are outside of an individual’s control, but they can be influenced by our work at ARC and that of our partners.
A long-term, interdisciplinary approach rooted in data is the region’s greatest hope for overcoming this lifespan gap.
During the next five years, ARC, led by its Aging and Independence Services group, will begin implementing the Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan. Through this work, detailed in the plan framework, ARC will:
- Identify and address the inequities that create disparities in life expectancy
- Engage with regional, state, and national stakeholders to bolster current partnerships
- Develop new relationships and marshal existing and new resources to support a long-term vision that all who live in the Atlanta region can lead long and healthy lives no matter where they live
It’s important to note that reducing life expectancy discrepancies is a long-range goal that can’t be fully achieved within the five-year timeframe. However, working with members of the community and partners inside and outside the agency, ARC is uniquely positioned to take this challenge on and make meaningful progress.
As the federally designated Area Agency on Aging for metro Atlanta’s 10 counties, ARC is responsible for planning, advocacy, and service delivery systems that are designed to support quality of life for older adults. In addition, the agency has a deep reserve of resources, including research and data analysis and community planning in transportation, housing, arts, and employment sectors. Finally, the agency’s community partners are already engaged in related work.
Year One: Research and Outreach
Establish strategic plan steering committee, identify key focus areas, develop relationships with key community partners, and establish evaluation techniques. Please see the Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan Framework for greater detail regarding these objectives.
Years 2-5: Implement Place, Policy, and Practice Interventions
Work with partners to execute strategies to address disparities related to:
- Place – Focus on locations, within each county, where residents experience the most inequity
- Policy – Work with governmental, philanthropic, educational, nonprofit, and business leaders to improve or amend policies that create inequities and advance policies that promote equity
- Practice – Provide services and programs that address unmet needs
Communicate efforts to governmental, philanthropic, educational, nonprofit, and business leaders, as well as residents across the region to build support, evaluate ongoing progress, and refine efforts as needed.
During the next five years, ARC, led by its Aging and Independence Services (AIS) group, will begin implementing the Live Beyond Expectations Regional Strategic Plan 2020-2025. This strategic framework is designed to identify and address the inequities that create disparities in life expectancy — explained further in this document.
This framework is an invitation to all interested individuals and organizations to join with ARC in working to ensure that the Atlanta region is a place where people of all ages, abilities, and incomes can live high quality lives, regardless of location.