Resources for Age-Friendly Communities

Below are resources for learning about and developing Age-Friendly Communities. Many of these materials were originally assembled for the October 2015 Conference on Creating Age-Friendly Communities in Northern New Jersey, sponsored by the Taub Foundation and the Grotta Fund.

Research and General Interest Publications

Communication Best Practices: Reframing Aging Initiative Guide to Telling a More Complete Story of Aging

Colleague Dr. Katie York is a co-author of this guide as part of an ongoing initiative to counter ageism and guide our nation’s approach to ensuring supportive policies and programs for us all as we move through the life course.

Reframing Aging Initiative/Gerontological Society of America2022

Too often, we limit opportunities for older people and minimize their contributions. This is unjust to older people and a loss to our communities. To live up to our ideals, we must confront the injustice of ageism.

Reframing Aging Initiative/Gerontological Society of America2021

 

 

The Roles of Age-Friendly Community Initiatives in Northern New Jersey During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated in the United States in March 2020, age-friendly community initiatives (AFCIs) in northern New Jersey pivoted their activities in response to numerous health and social needs in their communities. This report presents ways in which AFCIs contributed to increased capacity in their communities during the global pandemic through four roles: creator, amplifier, good community partner, and communications broker.

Rutgers University – School of Social Work2021

 

Age-Friendly Community Initiatives in Northern New Jersey: Four Years into Grant Funding

This report explores what the inaugural members of the North Jersey Alliance of Age-Friendly Communities look like four years into their development. The report provides an overview of the people, groups, organizations, and resources that support the initiatives’ work toward making their communities better places for long lives. These findings can help guide policy and practice to support the age-friendly movement as it takes hold and expands in New Jersey and beyond.

Rutgers University – School of Social Work2021

 

 

Creating Great Places to Age in New Jersey

Land use is a critical factor in a town’s livability, and especially for older residents. Including aging-friendly factors in local planning like affordable and diverse housing, transportation, walkability, flexible employment opportunities, and access to daily activities and socialization helps towns ensure that older residents can continue to live and thrive independently in the communities they know and love. New Jersey Future has been helping towns proactively design their built environments to accommodate the needs of an aging population.

New Jersey Future2020

 

 

The Best of Both Worlds: A Closer Look at Creating Spaces that Connect Young and Old

To shed light on factors inhibiting the creation of shared sites in the United States, this report interviews staff and board members of intergenerational shared sites, real estate developers and national policy and program experts. This report identified four key phases in the development and operation of shared sites, and explores these phases and shares lessons learned from intergenerational shared sites around the country.

/Eisner Foundation2019

 

 

Universal Design in Landscape Architecture

Universal landscape planning and design ensures people with disabilities can better participate in public life. These principles, which build off The Center for Universal Design’s principles, should guide the planning and design of all public spaces, regardless of intended audience.

American Society of Landscape Architects 2019

 

 

Silver to Gold: the Business of Aging

A report from the Summit on Business and the Future of Aging, for the Milken Institute. “Businesses have a golden opportunity to tap into the longevity economy through technology and other solutions, ranging from new ways to communicate to financial management strategies, to health and day-to-day living products and services. Each generation will design its own path through the longevity economy. We all need to recognize that when aging is viewed as a win, we all win.”

/Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging2018

 

 

Age-Friendly Initiatives in the Early Implementation Phase

This report provides an overview of nine age-friendly initiatives in northern New Jersey during the early implementation phase. The report describes the initiatives’ activities and outputs across six domains; addresses the evolution of their leadership teams and community partners; and presents the concept of “gaining traction” to conceptualize their progress.

/Rutgers University2018

 

 

Universal Design in Parks

Early in 2016, Kansas City Communities for All Ages identified two cities that were preparing to plan for the improvement of public park space. The city of Blue Springs, Missouri, was in the initial phases of working with a private developer whose project would alter access to a public park. The city of Roeland Park, Kansas, had a park on a former school site that residents wanted to see improved. Both cities were open to learning how UD could be incorporated in these projects to enhance access to the parks so residents with mobility challenges could fully engage in activities.

Mid-America Regional Council 2016

 

 

Age-Friendly Community Initiatives

This report is an overview of the initial development of nine age-friendly community initiatives in northern New Jersey. Based on interviews with initiative leaders, the report identifies two inter-related goals of the early planning phase: better understanding aging in the community and greater engagement of local stakeholders around aging. The report describes key activities in working toward these goals, as well as the role of diverse people and organizations in the early planning phase.

/Rutgers University2016

 

 

The Case for Age-Friendly Communities

The movement toward age-friendly communities is growing, with the key impetus being population aging. In the U.S. in 1900, 4.1 percent of the population was 65 or older. In 2015, this figure was 14.5 percent. By 2020, it is expected to increase to 16.1 percent, and by 2050, to 20 percent—one in five Americans.

/ Grantmakers In Aging 2016

Webinar: Age-friendly housing: Promoting Health Spaces for All Ages

This webinar, co-presented by the International Federation on Ageing (IFA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), features WHO’s health and housing guidelines and the winners of the WHO-IFA-Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) contest that sought innovative age-friendly models for housing and aging in community from around the world. Watch the video at left or on YouTube.

 

 

Age-Friendly Communities: Go Big or Go Home

This overview, produced for the Gerontological Society of America Public Policy Aging Report assesses the early success of the age-friendly community movement, and looks to identify trends, new directions and raise caution about the scope of the movement as well as the basic assumptions that frame current efforts in terms of long-term goals and sustainability.

/Public Policy Aging Report2015

 

 

America’s Health Rankings – Senior Report

This third edition of United Health Foundation’s report demonstrates that determinants of health directly influence health outcomes, accounting for three-quarters and outcomes accounting for one-quarter of each state’s overall score and ranking. Four categories are included in the model of health: Behaviors, Community & Environment, Policy, and Clinical Care.

United Health Foundation

 

New Jersey Longevity Economy

The Longevity Economy is the sum of all economic activity in New Jersey that is supported by the consumer spending of households headed by someone age 50 or older—both in New Jersey, as well as spending on exports from New Jersey to other states and DC. This includes the direct, indirect (supply chain), and induced economic effects of this spending. People over 50 contribute to the economy in a positive, outsize proportion to their share of the population.

/ AARP 2015

 

 

AARP Network of age-friendly Communities

The AARP Network of AgeFriendly Communities is an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s AgeFriendly Cities and Communities Program, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization. The program has participating communities in more than 20 nations, as well as 10 affiliates representing more than 1,000 communities.

AARP 2014

 

 

Aging and the National Prevention Strategy

Aging and public health organizations share many related goals, but have not traditionally worked closely together. In the context of today’s growing aging population and shrinking public resources, it is more important than ever to identify ways to leverage and align efforts across these two disciplines.

Philadelphia Corporation for Aging2014

 

 

Atlanta Regional Commission’s Lifelong Communities Initiative: Creating Communities for All Ages and Abilities

The Atlanta region is experiencing a monumental demographic shift. By 2030, one out of every five residents will be over the age of 60. The region’s housing and transportation infrastructure is not ready to support the changing needs and preferences of a growing older adult population. Getting healthy and staying healthy is increasingly difficult in communities with limited access to basic health services and too few opportunities for walking, exercise, good nutrition, and recreation.

/ Atlanta Regional Commission 2013

 

 

Creating a Livable Community

This guide has been created to provide guidance for those at the local level – community leaders, residents, students and more — to identify new ways to address community challenges, implement programs that enhance lives across all generations and create a livable and positive environment for community members.

/ MetLife mature Market Institute 2013

 

 

Creating the Healthy Community

This report contains best practices from a range of conventional institutions that have expanded their activities to help improve health and wellness in their community. Each example listed emphasizes at least one of the following constituencies: distressed communities, at-risk youth, and the vulnerable elderly population.

Partners for Livable Communities 2013

 

 

Creating Aging-Friendly Communities

“Sierra Health Foundation joined the Helen Andrus Benedict Foundation, MetLife Foundation and The California Endowment in support of the Creating Aging-Friendly Communities online conference, presented by University of California, Berkeley’s
Center for the Advanced Study of Aging Services in February and March 2008. This conference series was designed to support individuals and organizations nationwide in their planning to make communities more aging-friendly.”

/ Sierra Health Foundation 200

Assessment, Evaluation, and Sustainability

  •  

     

    Background on the Age-Friendly Movement

    AARP and the World Health Organization promote age-friendly communities and a global network of cities working to better meet their older residents; needs.

    American Society on Aging 2019

     

    Guiding Principles for the Sustainability of Age-Friendly Community Efforts

    Grantmakers In Aging brought together national and international leaders in the age-friendly movement to explore a variety of issues related to the concept and to its sustainability. The framework presented here is an key outcome of GIA’s Community AGEnda initiative to increase age-friendly activities in selected U.S. regions.

    /Pfizer Foundation2015

     

    GenPhilly: A Strategy for Improving the Sustainability of Aging in Community Initiatives

    The GenPhilly model was developed in Philadelphia, PA, to inspire and engage emerging leaders to promote and sustain an aging-in-community agenda. Peer-led, GenPhilly encouraged young professionals to capitalize on cultural and career opportunities, while considering the type of community in which they want to get older.

    /Journal of Aging & Social Policy2013

     

     

     

    Livable Community Indicators for Sustainable Aging in Place

    This report defines a livable community indicator system for measuring a community’s strengths for enabling residents to age in place. The report looks at housing and transportation, walkable and safe neighborhoods, and emergency preparedness and health care, as well as access to shopping, healthy food, and opportunities to participate in community life. The report includes a methodology and recommendations for assessment.

    /Mature Market Institute2013

     

     

     

    Selected Highlights from Our Local Partners

    In 2012, Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) launched Community AGEnda to help American communities become great places to grow up and grow old. With funding from the Pfizer Foundation, GIA made grants to five community organizations to help accelerate their age-friendly efforts. Here are some of the highlights from the first year of work by Community AGEnda’s local partners.

    / Grantmakers In Aging 2012

     

Creating Enabling & EquitableHousing and Multigenerational Communities

This document gives a call to planners, policymakers, designers and architects, developers, financiers, academics, real estate professionals, and other colleagues to help catalyze a societal quantum leap forward, by accelerating a shift to create age-friendly and multigenerational housing and communities that enable healthy aging for ALL.

AARP2020

 

 

Complete & Green Streets for All: Model Complete Streets Policy & Guide

Complete Streets improve safety for everyone, no matter how they choose to travel. This guide illustrates how connections to employment, education, residential, recreation, retail centers and public facilities can be strengthened. Promoting healthy lifestyles, economic development, reducing traffic congestion, and creating more livable communities enhances quality of life for all.

/ New Jersey DOT 2019

 

 

Guidance from AARP

In addition to information about joining the AARP network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, the website includes an extensive library of publications, resources, tools and guidebooks for livable communities.

AARP 2019

 

 

Creating An Age-Advantaged Community

Since 2012, Generations United and MetLife Foundation have recognized the best intergenerational communities in the United States. From this work, Generations United has developed a series of tools to help communities become all-age friendly. This is a toolkit for building intergenerational communities that recognize, engage and support all ages.

/ MetLife mature Market Institute 2015

 

 

Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working!

This report offers an overview of Livable Communities and identifies key strategies that are pivotal to the success of local initiatives that are truly moving the needle on making communities livable for all ages. The report is intended as a resource for local public and private entities and citizen change-makers who want to ensure that their communities are making the right decisions and allocating appropriate resources to improve vital physical and social support infrastructures that meet needs across the lifespan.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging 2015

 

 

APA Aging in CommunityPolciy Guide: Talking Points for Planners

The aging of the population demands a fundamental shift in planning in order to minimize the economic, social and health challenges that will otherwise overwhelm communities. This guide contains policies that are designed to: Help older adults remain functional and active in their communities so that they can successfully age in their homes and communities; enhance the local economic benefits from older adults and their caregivers; and combat ageism and tap the assets that older adults represent by facilitating contact and interdependencies across generations.

American Planning Association 2014

 

 

Sidewalks and Streets Survey

Too many communities in the United States are designed for automobile travel, with very little consideration given to the needs of walkers. Lack of sidewalks, construction of sidewalks too close to roads and lack of maintenance are all factors that discourage people from walking regularly. You can help make walking safer by teaching small groups to take simple “walkability” surveys. Once people rate an area and identify concerns, the group can take action to improve walkability. This toolkit will help you do that.

/ AARP 2014

 

 

Talking About Age-Friendly Communities

You can use the thinking and the language here in a variety of ways. This tool should enable you to
create more effective messages or talking points, shape brochures or other printed materials, and even frame public communications campaigns. That said, the sample language offered here is best viewed as a guidepost. You should always adapt these messages to meet the unique and/or local requirements of your situation, audiences, or broader effort.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2014

 

 

Age-Friendly Communities: A Blueprint for Success

What makes an age-friendly city? It’s a place that meets the needs of its citizens in all stages of their lives — a great place to grow up and grow old. There are lots of ways to make your community more age-friendly. Here are eight ideas.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2014

 

 

Communities for All Ages Idea Book

In this publication, the First Suburbs Coalition continues its work to make our communities healthy, vibrant and sustainable by providing useful information to help you navigate the coming changes in health care and lifestyles with special emphasis on: Home design and maintenance to support all ages and abilities; Housing options to consider as you age; and Assistive technologies (both existing and emerging) that will help you navigate the changes in health care and lifestyles that are on the way.

First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages 2013

 

 

Aging Power Tools

Community AGEnda has documented the exciting work being done in this field, not only in our original five cities, but across the country. Aging Power Tools offers a practical framework, with references and associated resources and materials, that any funder, community, planner, or team can use to launch or broaden their age-friendly initiative. Based on a broad web review and our experience in the field, this document points to a wealth of materials that funders, local governments, and community groups can use to move ahead.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2013

 

 

Laying the Foundation for an Age-friendly Philadelphia: A Progress Report

Age-friendly Philadelphia is a planning and research agenda initiated by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) to help older adults remain healthy, active, and engaged in their communities for as long as possible. An “age-friendly” city is one that is committed to improving both the physical and social environments that surround the city’s elders, to facilitate independence and neighborhood cohesion.

/Philadelphia Corporation for Aging2011

 

 

Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities

“This checklist of essential age-friendly city features is based on the results of the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities project consultation in 33 cities in 22 countries. The checklist is a tool for a
city’s self-assessment and a map for charting progress. This checklist is intended to be used by individuals and groups interested in making their city more age-friendly.”

World Health Organization 2007

 

 

Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide

Population ageing and urbanization are two global trends that together comprise major forces shaping the 21st century. At the same time as cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. Older people are a resource for
their families, communities and economies in supportive and enabling living environments. WHO regards active ageing as a lifelong process shaped by several factors that, alone and acting together, favour health, participation and security in older adult life.

/ World Health Organization 2007

 

 

A Blueprint for Action: Developing a Livable Comminuty for All Ages

The purpose of this guide is to provide local leaders with tools to build the collaborations needed to create livable communities for people of all ages. Every area of local government has a role to play in this effort. The guide can be used as a quick-reference kit for practitioners looking for tools, resources, and best practices. It includes information based on community experiences in building local leadership and solving specific challenges relating to aging.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging 2007

 

  •  

     

    Background on the Age-Friendly Movement

    AARP and the World Health Organization promote age-friendly communities and a global network of cities working to better meet their older residents; needs.

    American Society on Aging 2019

     

    Guiding Principles for the Sustainability of Age-Friendly Community Efforts

    Grantmakers In Aging brought together national and international leaders in the age-friendly movement to explore a variety of issues related to the concept and to its sustainability. The framework presented here is an key outcome of GIA’s Community AGEnda initiative to increase age-friendly activities in selected U.S. regions.

    /Pfizer Foundation2015

     

    GenPhilly: A Strategy for Improving the Sustainability of Aging in Community Initiatives

    The GenPhilly model was developed in Philadelphia, PA, to inspire and engage emerging leaders to promote and sustain an aging-in-community agenda. Peer-led, GenPhilly encouraged young professionals to capitalize on cultural and career opportunities, while considering the type of community in which they want to get older.

    /Journal of Aging & Social Policy2013

     

     

     

    Livable Community Indicators for Sustainable Aging in Place

    This report defines a livable community indicator system for measuring a community’s strengths for enabling residents to age in place. The report looks at housing and transportation, walkable and safe neighborhoods, and emergency preparedness and health care, as well as access to shopping, healthy food, and opportunities to participate in community life. The report includes a methodology and recommendations for assessment.

    /Mature Market Institute2013

     

     

     

    Selected Highlights from Our Local Partners

    In 2012, Grantmakers In Aging (GIA) launched Community AGEnda to help American communities become great places to grow up and grow old. With funding from the Pfizer Foundation, GIA made grants to five community organizations to help accelerate their age-friendly efforts. Here are some of the highlights from the first year of work by Community AGEnda’s local partners.

    / Grantmakers In Aging 2012

     

Creating Enabling & EquitableHousing and Multigenerational Communities

This document gives a call to planners, policymakers, designers and architects, developers, financiers, academics, real estate professionals, and other colleagues to help catalyze a societal quantum leap forward, by accelerating a shift to create age-friendly and multigenerational housing and communities that enable healthy aging for ALL.

AARP2020

 

 

Complete & Green Streets for All: Model Complete Streets Policy & Guide

Complete Streets improve safety for everyone, no matter how they choose to travel. This guide illustrates how connections to employment, education, residential, recreation, retail centers and public facilities can be strengthened. Promoting healthy lifestyles, economic development, reducing traffic congestion, and creating more livable communities enhances quality of life for all.

/ New Jersey DOT 2019

 

 

Guidance from AARP

In addition to information about joining the AARP network of Age-Friendly States and Communities, the website includes an extensive library of publications, resources, tools and guidebooks for livable communities.

AARP 2019

 

 

Creating An Age-Advantaged Community

Since 2012, Generations United and MetLife Foundation have recognized the best intergenerational communities in the United States. From this work, Generations United has developed a series of tools to help communities become all-age friendly. This is a toolkit for building intergenerational communities that recognize, engage and support all ages.

/ MetLife mature Market Institute 2015

 

 

Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working!

This report offers an overview of Livable Communities and identifies key strategies that are pivotal to the success of local initiatives that are truly moving the needle on making communities livable for all ages. The report is intended as a resource for local public and private entities and citizen change-makers who want to ensure that their communities are making the right decisions and allocating appropriate resources to improve vital physical and social support infrastructures that meet needs across the lifespan.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging 2015

 

 

APA Aging in CommunityPolciy Guide: Talking Points for Planners

The aging of the population demands a fundamental shift in planning in order to minimize the economic, social and health challenges that will otherwise overwhelm communities. This guide contains policies that are designed to: Help older adults remain functional and active in their communities so that they can successfully age in their homes and communities; enhance the local economic benefits from older adults and their caregivers; and combat ageism and tap the assets that older adults represent by facilitating contact and interdependencies across generations.

American Planning Association 2014

 

 

Sidewalks and Streets Survey

Too many communities in the United States are designed for automobile travel, with very little consideration given to the needs of walkers. Lack of sidewalks, construction of sidewalks too close to roads and lack of maintenance are all factors that discourage people from walking regularly. You can help make walking safer by teaching small groups to take simple “walkability” surveys. Once people rate an area and identify concerns, the group can take action to improve walkability. This toolkit will help you do that.

/ AARP 2014

 

 

Talking About Age-Friendly Communities

You can use the thinking and the language here in a variety of ways. This tool should enable you to
create more effective messages or talking points, shape brochures or other printed materials, and even frame public communications campaigns. That said, the sample language offered here is best viewed as a guidepost. You should always adapt these messages to meet the unique and/or local requirements of your situation, audiences, or broader effort.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2014

 

 

Age-Friendly Communities: A Blueprint for Success

What makes an age-friendly city? It’s a place that meets the needs of its citizens in all stages of their lives — a great place to grow up and grow old. There are lots of ways to make your community more age-friendly. Here are eight ideas.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2014

 

 

Communities for All Ages Idea Book

In this publication, the First Suburbs Coalition continues its work to make our communities healthy, vibrant and sustainable by providing useful information to help you navigate the coming changes in health care and lifestyles with special emphasis on: Home design and maintenance to support all ages and abilities; Housing options to consider as you age; and Assistive technologies (both existing and emerging) that will help you navigate the changes in health care and lifestyles that are on the way.

First Suburbs Coalition and KC Communities for All Ages 2013

 

 

Aging Power Tools

Community AGEnda has documented the exciting work being done in this field, not only in our original five cities, but across the country. Aging Power Tools offers a practical framework, with references and associated resources and materials, that any funder, community, planner, or team can use to launch or broaden their age-friendly initiative. Based on a broad web review and our experience in the field, this document points to a wealth of materials that funders, local governments, and community groups can use to move ahead.

/ Pfizer Foundation 2013

 

 

Laying the Foundation for an Age-friendly Philadelphia: A Progress Report

Age-friendly Philadelphia is a planning and research agenda initiated by Philadelphia Corporation for Aging (PCA) to help older adults remain healthy, active, and engaged in their communities for as long as possible. An “age-friendly” city is one that is committed to improving both the physical and social environments that surround the city’s elders, to facilitate independence and neighborhood cohesion.

/Philadelphia Corporation for Aging2011

 

 

Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities

“This checklist of essential age-friendly city features is based on the results of the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities project consultation in 33 cities in 22 countries. The checklist is a tool for a
city’s self-assessment and a map for charting progress. This checklist is intended to be used by individuals and groups interested in making their city more age-friendly.”

World Health Organization 2007

 

 

Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide

Population ageing and urbanization are two global trends that together comprise major forces shaping the 21st century. At the same time as cities are growing, their share of residents aged 60 years and more is increasing. Older people are a resource for
their families, communities and economies in supportive and enabling living environments. WHO regards active ageing as a lifelong process shaped by several factors that, alone and acting together, favour health, participation and security in older adult life.

/ World Health Organization 2007

 

 

A Blueprint for Action: Developing a Livable Comminuty for All Ages

The purpose of this guide is to provide local leaders with tools to build the collaborations needed to create livable communities for people of all ages. Every area of local government has a role to play in this effort. The guide can be used as a quick-reference kit for practitioners looking for tools, resources, and best practices. It includes information based on community experiences in building local leadership and solving specific challenges relating to aging.

National Association of Area Agencies on Aging 2007