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Public Policy and Administration


Ross Alexander


The older adult population has been growing since 1950. The quality of life of older Atlanta citizens may be reduced if adopted Lifelong Communities (LLC) initiative principles are executed poorly or not at all. The purpose of this case study was to describe and explore the experiences of local government officials in Atlanta, Georgia who have adopted LLC initiatives. Research questions focused on local government officials' experiences adopting the LLC initiative, their use of the LLC principles, as well as the benefits and challenges encountered when integrating principles within organizations and communities to ensure quality of life for persons served. The theoretical framework for this study was based on Lawton and Nahemow's ecology of aging and ecological change model. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews using semi-structured interview questions from 6 government officials in the Atlanta region. Additional data included relevant publicly available documents related to LLC initiatives. All data were inductively coded and then analyzed using content analysis. The findings of this study indicated that strategic planning and forming collaborative relationships with existing organizations and influential persons were key components of the LLC initiative process. According to LLC leaders, the initiative was beneficial for promoting housing and transportation options and enhancing quality of life. Furthermore, the findings of this study were consistent with the principles of the ecological change model. This study has implications for positive social change by providing information to local government officials and other stakeholders about capacity building, strategic planning, and the needs of the elderly that may lead to improving the implementation of LLCs.