The Ad Hoc Aging in Place Committee was recently established to benefit older adults who want to remain in Birmingham as they age.

The Ad Hoc Aging in Place Committee was recently established to benefit older adults who want to remain in Birmingham as they age.

Photo provided by NEXT

Birmingham focuses in on aging in place

By: Mary Genson | Birmingham-Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 20, 2023


BIRMINGHAM — The city of Birmingham established an Ad Hoc Aging in Place Committee to work toward the city’s goal of making it more realistic for older adults to remain in Birmingham as they age.

When the city adopted strategic goals in November 2022, one of the recommendations was to form a committee to facilitate the development of an aging in place plan.

The city also recently finished up the 2040 master plan, which includes numerous initiatives and ideas that the city wants to accomplish that go hand in hand with helping seniors age in place. The committee is working to align with these goals and visions set by the 2040 plan.

Mark Clemence, former Birmingham police chief and ex-officio member of Birmingham’s Ad Hoc Aging in Place Committee, said 50% of Birmingham’s population is going to be considered older adults by 2045, with a significant portion being 65-years-old-plus residents, and many of them living alone.

“It is very important to us and very important to City Commission that we address this plan ahead of time so that we’re prepared for when that eventuality comes, and we want people to be able to age in their home or wherever here in town, in the place that they feel most comfortable,” Clemence said.

On April 3, the City Commission unanimously passed a motion that directed the formation of an ad hoc committee to determine the needs of Birmingham’s aging population by studying demographics and conducting resident surveys.

“Overwhelmingly, older adults want to age in place, preferably in their own home, if not in their own community. And so Birmingham has taken a closer look to see how they can make that happen and support the desire of older seniors,” Birmingham NEXT Executive Director Cris Braun said.

The Ad Hoc Aging in Place Committee is made up of members appointed by the City Commission. Members have varying areas of experience, which relate to the aging population.

In addition to Clemence as an ex-officio member, the committee includes Braun, Rebekah Craft, Rackeline Hoff, Melissa Mark, Pamela DeWeese, Rosemary O’Malley and Leslie Pielack. Jay Reynolds is an alternate member.

Recently, the committee has reached out to the community to share their feedback on an action plan to improve the lives of Birmingham’s older adults.

The survey is available at It will also be sent out with everyone’s water bills, so every homeowner should receive it. Hardcopies will also be available at the library, City Hall and Next.

“We’re hoping to get some very robust feedback that then we can use in our planning moving forward,” Braun said.

Residents are invited to share their feedback in person at their committee meeting Feb. 28. A previous public input meeting was held Dec. 13.

“The community’s voice is very important because it will help guide our recommendations,” Braun said. “But most importantly, these are the people that the plan will be affecting, not only now but moving forward for a couple of decades. Nothing happens overnight, so planning for the future is very important, and these people that will respond to the survey or come to the meetings or send an email, their suggestions, their concerns, their voice is going to be very important to helping develop a plan that is targeted, appropriate and tailor-made for older residents.”