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UW Committee Looks at Senior Living in Arlington

How “aging friendly” is Arlington? A United Way committee is examining factors that affect the quality of day-to-day living for the city’s older residents before proposing ways to make improvements.

Equipped with a two-year $50,000 grant from the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, the committee of volunteers and staff from United Way-Arlington and United Way’s Area Agency on Aging are looking at strengths and weaknesses in six areas:

  • Demographics
  • Transportation
  • Recreation and Well-being
  • Housing and residential
  • Health/Mental health/Substance Abuse
  • Community Services

The 23-member Aging Texas Well-Arlington Steering Committee chaired by Bonnie Bowman has been meeting monthly since October. It is a diverse group that includes community volunteers and others from government, health and human services, education and the faith community.

“Arlington is blessed with more than 45,000 residents who are 60 and over,” said Cynthia Jensen, United Way-Arlington Regional Director. “By 2030, older adults are expected to comprise nearly 20% of the entire population.”

While much of the research is data-driven, the UTA School of Social Work has also been enlisted to interview Arlington older adults to get their personal views on how Arlington fares in the areas being studied. This “qualitative research” will continue through August. By year’s end, the Steering Committee will finalize its recommendations on how to improve the quality of life for Arlington’s older citizens and publish its report next year.

“Our perspective is that aging is not a problem to be ‘solved;’ it’s a gift,” said Cynthia. “In our pursuit to ensure that Arlington is an aging-friendly city, we strive to be inclusive, to reinforce the current support services that are in place for older adults, and to move toward a host of healthy choices and opportunities for senior citizens.”

United Way thanks the members of the Aging Texas Well-Arlington Steering Committee for their diligent work:

  • Chair Bonnie Bowman, Community Volunteer
  • Dr. Gail Adorno, School of Social Work, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Marva Allums, Community Volunteer
  • Shirley Allums, Community Volunteer
  • Christina Bartha, Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County
  • Kathryn (Kathy) Beeler, Community Volunteer
  • Lynell Bond, Meals On Wheels
  • Kathryn Daniel, PhD., ANP-BC, GNP-BC, Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Marcia Etie, Community Volunteer
  • Marcela N. Gutierrez, LMSW, Center for Community Health, UNT Health Science Center
  • Cynthia Jensen, United Way-Arlington
  • Sheryl Kenny, City of Arlington
  • Jim Lowery, Arlington Police Department
  • Pat Malone, Pleasant Ridge Church of Christ
  • Bill McQuatters, Arlington Fire Department
  • Norma Mena, Texas Silver Haired Legislature
  • Jerry Mosman, Senior Citizen Services of Greater Tarrant County, Inc.
  • Kelly Rodriguez, Office of Commissioner Andy Nguyen
  • Kathryn Rotter, Office of Tarrant County Judge Glen Whitley
  • Roni Scheibe, Community Volunteer
  • Cheryl Tribett, United Way-Arlington
  • James Turner, Eunice Activity Center
  • Matthew Weaver, Ph.D., Area Agency on Aging of Tarrant County