Age Friendly Communities
Age Friendly Communities are communities that are livable, provide opportunities for work and leisure and are inclusive of all residents.
An Age Friendly community enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. It helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves. As the U.S. population ages and people stay healthy and active longer, communities must adapt. Well-designed, livable communities promote health and sustain economic growth, and they make for happier, healthier residents of all ages.
Although most age-friendly services are local, the movement itself is global. Internationally, the World Health Organization (WHO) has provided key leadership with its Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities. In 2006, WHO brought together 33 cities in 22 countries to help determine the key elements that support active and healthy aging, which formed the basis of its Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide.
In the United States, the Age Friendly Communities program is administered by AARP. AARP works with local officials and partner organizations around the country to identify communities for membership in the Age-Friendly Network. AARP then facilitates the community’s enrollment and guides its representatives through the network’s implementation and assessment process. At last count, 182 communities, representing more than 61 million people, have joined the AARP Age Friendly Communities.