Study after study has reported an overwhelming preference among some younger and many older adults to remain in their homes and communities for as long as possible as they age (AARP, 2018). Homes and communities are important to individuals, often serving as the basis for valued memories, and important social connections.
At the same time, aging-related circumstances often challenge the ability of individuals to age successfully in their homes. For instance, many older adults experience physical and social changes that can threaten their independence and well-being, especially if the changes are not addressed in home and community environments.
Along with the usual aging-related challenges that many older Americans encounter, older residents of Albany County are also faced by attributes of a rural environment,where the relatively small population is dispersed across a vast geographical area. The county’s rugged climate and topography as well as the distribution of its population can create unique barriers with respect to transportation, housing, and delivery of programs and services to older adult residents in the area.
Livable communities have features that allow older adults to maintain their independence and quality of life as they age and retire. As well, communities that provide active support are more likely to retain a larger share of their vital older residents as a highly valued resource, and in turn benefit from their experiences and the local commitment and civic engagement that long-term residents often contribute to our community.
Residents of Laramie are fortunate to live in a pleasant and highly livable community. As a place to age in place, most older residents rate their community as a good place to age, according to the baseline assessment conducted by Age-Friendly Wyoming.
Albany County/Laramie is rated as a “good”, “very good”or “excellent” place to live as one ages by about 3 out of 4 (76%) respondents..
In comparing those living within Laramie’s city limits with those living elsewhere in Albany County, more than 77% of Laramie residents rated their community as “good” or better, compared to about 71% living elsewhere in the county. This disparity likely reflects the relatively fewer, or greater difficulty accessing resources available in extremely rural or remote areas.