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The 8 Domains of Livability

The availability and quality of these community features impact the well-being of older adults

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    The Good Life

    En español | The World Health Organization’s Global Age-Friendly Cities and Communities project has identified eight domains of livability that influence the quality of life of older adults. Herewith, a pictorial tour through the domains.

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    1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

    People need public places to gather — indoors and out. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings (think elevators, stairs with railings, etc.) can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages.

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    2. Transportation

    Driving shouldn't be the only way to get around. Public transit options can be as expansive and as infrastructure dependent as a train system or as targeted as a taxi service that provides non-drivers with rides to and from a doctor's office. 

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    3. Housing

    Most people want to remain in their own home and community as they age. Doing so is possible if housing is designed or modified for aging in place and a community has affordable housing options for varying life stages.

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    4. Social Participation

    Regardless of a person's age, loneliness is often as debilitating a health condition as having a chronic illness or disease. Sadness and isolation can be combatted by the availability of accessible, affordable and fun social activities.

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    5. Respect and Social Inclusion

    Everyone wants to feel valued. Intergenerational activities are a great way for young and old to learn from one another, honor what each has to offer and, at the same time, feel good about themselves.

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    6. Work & Civic Engagement

    Why does work need to be an all or nothing experience? An age-friendly community provides ways older people can (if they choose) continue to work for pay, volunteer their skills and be actively engaged in community life.

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    7. Communication and Information

    Age-friendly communities recognize that not everyone has a smartphone or Internet access and that information needs to be disseminated through a variety of means.

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    8. Community and Health Services

    At some point, every person of every age gets hurt, becomes ill or simply needs some help. While it's important that care be available nearby, it's essential that residents are able to access and afford the services required.

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    Age-Friendly for All Ages

    The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities is helping towns, cities and counties use the domains framework to create great places for people of all ages. See the network's Member List and learn more about the domains.

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Each issue of the award-winning AARP Livable Communities e-Newsletter contains a mix of inspiring examples, community resources and information about livability efforts from places near and far. Subscribe today!