"We are going to need age-friendly communities to give people quality of life because our traditional structures won't be able to care for them any longer," said Dr. Alishia Ferguson from the University of Arkansas School of Social Work.
Doctor Ferguson said that the ideal age-friendly city offers ample transportation, and accessible activities for seniors.
"It's a lot of simple things, better attitudes, bringing neighborhoods together," she said.
Those neighborhoods have changed. America has lost its front porch mentality, and with it Dr. Ferguson said, its closeness. She said that people need to check in on their elderly neighbors to make sure their needs are met, and they aren't lonely.
"Having a community with social engagement keeps people from getting depressed and keeps them healthier longer," she said.
Dr. Ferguson said that cities need to encourage active aging, engagement and inclusion of seniors. People must also find ways to help the elderly grow old in their own homes - all things she says most cities in the US and Northwest Arkansas right now fall short on.
In the future, Dr. Ferguson will help conduct a needs assessment in Fayetteville to see how age-friendly the city is, and how it can improve.
She is looking for volunteers, funding, and people to take surveys.
If you would like to participate, you can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org