Age-Friendly Community

Age-Friendly Community


“Place” in aging-in-place is Not Just four Walls.

-Patrick Roden


Aging in Place is frequently pigeonholed into meaning growing old behind four walls. The tendency is to treat “place” simply as a container for old people is limiting—a homogeneous definition that fails to recognize the multifaceted nature of older people and the dynamic places they live.

Bottom line; Aging in Place includes multigenerational age-friendly communities and cities.(“Ageing in place” is a popular term in current ageing policy, defined as “remaining living in the community, with some level of independence, rather than in residential care” (Davey, Nana, de Joux, & Arcus, 2004, p. 133).

8 Essential Features of an Age-Friendly Community

  1. Outdoor spaces/public buildings that are pleasant, clean, secure and physically accessible.
    2. Public transportation that is accessible and affordable.
    3. Housing that is affordable, appropriately located, well-built, well designed and secure.
    4. Opportunities for social participation in leisure/social/cultural/spiritual activities with people of all ages and cultures.
    5. Older people are treated with respect and are included in civic life.
    6. Opportunities for employment/volunteerism that cater to elder’s interests and abilities.
    7. Age-friendly communication and information available.
    8. Community support and health tailored to older persons’ needs.
    Source: Union of BC Municipalities

“Age-friendly Cities” The World Health Organization has developed the idea is to adopt a city’s structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities.


5 Key Areas of Age-Friendly Communities

Continuity Opportunities to participate in lifelong interests and activities that are self-affirming, including activities that maintain good health and prevent disease and disability.

Compensation – Access to services, products, and structures that help to meet the basic health and social needs of individuals with age-related disabilities, including assisted living and technological interventions that support self-care.

Connection – Access to sources of social interaction and social support, including built and electronic resources to overcome physical barriers to social contact.

Contribution – Opportunities to actively contribute to the well-being of the community, of one another, and of themselves.

Challenge – Access to new sources of fulfillment, productive engagement, and interaction, including social, recreational, and educational activities designed to engage and excite older participants.

(Independent for Life: Homes and Neighborhoods for an Aging America: University of Texas Press/Austin, 2012, p. 72-73)

See: The World Health Organization Age-Friendly Cities Project Report