A Self-Service Tool Kit

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities

Age-friendly towns, cities and counties are great for people of all ages. Our self-service guide explains how your community can join this World Health Organization-affiliated program


Small town main street. Livable Communities.

Communities in the AARP age-friendly network are not retirement villages, gated developments, nursing homes or assisted living facilities. An age-friendly community is livable for people of all ages. — Getty Images

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities encourages states, cities, towns and counties to prepare for the rapid aging of the U.S. population by paying increased attention to the environmental, economic and social factors that influence the health and well-being of older adults.


By doing so, these communities are better equipped to become great places, and even lifelong homes, for people of all ages.


(Go ahead and take a look at The Member List now. Then come back to this page.)


Age-friendly or livable communities have features such as walkable streets, housing and transportation options, access to key services and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.


The tool kit ...

  • explains the milestones for initiating and achieving membership in the network
  • provides examples for developing plans that are unique to each  community
  • offers guidance for how to develop a framework that links back to an action plan
  • identifies the necessary indicators and data sources that support the evaluation phases


The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities was launched in April 2012 and operates under the auspices of the World Health Organization's Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program. The tool kit can be adapted as needed by AARP state offices, municipal and local governments, non-profit organizations, community partners and volunteers.

An Introduction

Learn about the program’s creation, members and how to join. Read



Step 1: Getting Started

Review the World Health Organizations “8 Domains of Livability” and other information to determine whether your community is ready to begin the process of enrolling in the network. Read

All applications to the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities must include:

  1. The completed membership application form
  2. A "letter of commitment" from the community's highest-ranking elected official 
  3. A digital file image that represents the community (e.g. a city seal, logo or iconic photograph) 

Learn more and find the enrollment documents: "Preparing the Membership Materials"


Step 2: Planning (Year 1 - 2)

Tips for how to put together an action plan and assess community needs by gathering baseline information and establishing indicators. Read



Step 3: Implementation (Year 3 - 4)

Here’s how to successfully transition from the planning to implementation phase to forming program strategies. Read



Step 4: Evaluation (Year 4 - 5)

Advice for how to develop and assess an evaluation framework that links back to the action plan. Read



Step 5: Connecting (Years 1 - 5+)

Find resources about how communities can support one another’s efforts within the national and international networks. Read


If after reviewing this tool kit you still have questions about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, please email livable@aarp.org and put "NAFC Tool Kit" in the subject line.



  • The Member List
    See the current roster of enrolled communities in the United States as well as their action plans and other information

  • Preparing the Membership Materials
    Find the membership application, sample letters of commitment, resolutions and more







Collage of AARP Livable Communities reports

Resources from the 2015 conference.


Each fall, AARP Livable Communities hosts a conference of community representatives and AARP staff. Download the presentations and materials from each of our annual learning events: 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

Sample issue of the AARP Livable Communities eNewsletter

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