WEST ORANGE, NJ — The township of West Orange recently received formal acceptance into the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

West Orange is only the 13th New Jersey community to receive the honor and becomes the 466th member nationwide to be awarded Age-Friendly certification. The AARP and WHO networks provide resources to member communities to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models and best current practices.

Senior Livability Coordinator Dorothy Sanders helped to spearhead the application process.

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“This award culminates the work the township put forth so far to create an age-friendly community which benefits all residents," Sanders said. "The months-long process for accreditation has been a labor of love, involving teamwork from many departments and individuals. Close collaboration with Laura Van Dyke and the Department of Senior Services was invaluable in this effort. The unwavering dedication and support from Mayor Parisi and Council President Michelle Casalino truly helped make this accomplishment possible."

The West Orange Department of Health, with Theresa De Nova’s efforts, laid the groundwork for this accreditation with their grant receipt from Partners for Health in the Fall of 2017. It provided partial funding for West Orange Survey of Older Adults and the hiring of a Senior Livability Coordinator position that helped make this award possible.