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Florida joins ‘Network of Age-Friendly States’

“I am proud that Florida is leading by becoming the largest state to commit to this important effort.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida’s first Generation X governor, has teamed up with the American Association of Retired Persons to try and make the Sunshine State accommodating for people of all ages.

The governor’s office announced Tuesday that Florida has become the fourth state to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

“As our state continues to grow, we must ensure that we do all that we can to meet the needs of our residents,” DeSantis, 40, said in a press release. “I am proud that Florida is leading by becoming the largest state to commit to this important effort.”

More than 8 million of the state’s estimated 21.6 million residents are older than 50. And the population of older Floridians is expected to climb by nearly 40 percent over the next decade, according to Florida Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Richard Prudom.

“So it is essential that communities are prepared,” Prudom said in the release.

New York, Massachusetts, and Colorado are already participating in the program, as are at least 25 Florida communities, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee and Dunedin, and Miami-Dade, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

Membership isn’t an endorsement by the AARP as a place to live, the organization’s website states.

“What membership does mean is that the community’s elected leadership has made the commitment to actively work toward making their town, city, county or state a great place to live for people of all ages,” the site explains.

The News Service of Florida provides journalists, lobbyists, government officials and other civic leaders with comprehensive, objective information about the activities of state government year-round.

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