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County is ‘age-friendly’ community

Director of Healthy Aging at the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Carmen Bell presented, on behalf of American Association of Retired Persons, a certification recognizing Lehigh County as an age-friendly community during the Feb. 9 commissioners meeting. The certification is expires Nov. 29, 2025.

Chair Geoff Brace said the county is focused on improving affordable housing opportunities and social inclusion for older adults, and walking for health.

“This is a testament to our commitment to making Lehigh County and the Lehigh Valley a more age-friendly place to live,” Brace said.

Bell told commissioners, “We have been working long and hard with both counties [Lehigh and Northampton]. We appreciate the efforts of Executive [Phillips] Armstrong in support of our work. We appreciate the work of the commissioners to be mindful of what’s best for the community and we are happy to be in that partnership with them, our elected officials and the various nonprofit organizations and other institutions around the county.

“Our goal is to recognize that Lehigh County and Lehigh Valley is already an age-friendly community. There are lots of opportunities here, lots of access to healthcare, but there’s always an opportunity to improve that which is already good,” said Bell..

In accepting the certification, Armstrong said, “It’s been years of work, of planning. If I can remember, Carmen, we had the Fountain Hill Senior Home, for where we started this a number of years ago. It was quite a process – but for AARP and the United Way spearheading it, it was quite an honor to just go along.

“I think that it’s very very important that we have a community that recognizes the needs of the senior population. Not only in just medical and housing, but how to get to those things, that transportation meets their needs.”

Armstrong concluded, “We value our senior population and we will continue as a board and executive branch with these groups to make sure we continue to improve.”

Press photos by Marieke Andronache Commissioner Geoff Brace, Director of Healthy Aging at the Back Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley Carmen Bell, Lehigh Co. Executive Phil Armstrong. Bottom row: Commissioner Ron Beitler, Commissioner Jeffrey Dutt, Commissioner Dan Hartzell, Commissioner Zach Cole-Borghi and Commissioner Antonia Pineda.