An age-friendly community is one that conducts planning that prepares for the aging of its citizens, engages in collaborative and building processes that involve assessment, and ensures implementation. The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) organized this toolkit with information, tools, and resources to help Texans and their communities begin the process of aging well. While it was created for Texas, it is a great resource for other states focused on making sure older citizens are active and engaged in their communities, safely self-sufficient and independent, physically, mentally and spiritually healthy, and living in safe and comfortable community-based settings.
The purpose of the entire Aging Texas Well (ATW) initiative, and this toolkit, is to identify and discuss aging policy issues, guide state government readiness, and promote increased community preparedness for an aging Texas. The guide is set up with four main sections including understanding the ATW process, ATW community indicators, ATW community assessment, and seeking recognition for your community.
Other toolkit highlights include:
- Steps needed to complete the community assessment: designate an executive sponsor with the authority to activate the process, designate an action committee leader, organize your community by building your action committee, assess your community, plan for future successes by building on strengths and closing gaps, and implement your plan.
- Community assessment indicators fall under six major sections: demographics, residential, transportation, health care, recreation and well-being, and community supports and services.
How to Use
This guide is essential for all local official and planners in the Texas area. Specifically, the community assessment piece and the information on understanding the Aging Texas Well process should be read, considered, and utilized. For other states, this toolkit and the information provided within it can serve as a guide for local planners and officials interested in making aging initiatives a priority in their area. The community assessment tool and the guide as a whole can help with community planning and the budgeting process. Additionally, there is important information on applying for community certification and recognition from a number of organizations.
View full report: Aging Texas Well: Community Assessment Toolkit – 2009 (PDF – 631 KB)