Eight Domains of Livability
The Age-Friendly Network targets improvements in eight domains that influence the health and quality of life of older adults:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings – availability of safe and accessible recreational facilities.
- Transportation – safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation.
- Housing – a wide range of housing options for older residents; the ability to age in place; and other home modification programs.
- Social participation – access to leisure and cultural activities; opportunities for older residents to participate in social and civic engagement with their peers and younger people.
- Respect and social inclusion – programs to promote ethnic and cultural diversity as well as multigenerational interaction and dialogue.
- Civic participation and employment – the promotion of paid work and volunteer activities for older residents and opportunities to engage in the formulation of policies relevant to their lives.
- Communication and information – the promotion of and access to technology to keep older residents connected to their community and friends and family.
- Community support and health services – access to homecare services, clinics, and programs to promote wellness and active aging.
Criteria & Process
Communities participating in the program commit to improving their age-friendliness and submit to a rigorous assessment cycle:
The AARP state office identifies cities, towns, and counties it believes can commit to a continual cycle of improvement in the eight domains; informs municipal officials of the program; and ascertains the community’s interest.
The mayor or municipal administrator writes a letter to the AARP State Office indicating the community’s commitment. AARP then advises WHO of the municipality’s intent and facilitates its enrollment in the Network.
Upon entry into the network, the community is required to do the following:
Phase 1 – Planning (Year 1-2)
- Establish mechanisms of involving older people in all stages of the age-friendly cities and communities process (e.g., advisory citizens’ committee)
- Conduct a comprehensive and inclusive baseline assessment of the age-friendliness of the community
- Develop a 3-year community-wide action plan based on assessment findings
- Identify indicators to monitor progress against this plan
Phase 2 – Implementation (Year 3–5)
- Commit to implementing the approved action plan and submit a progress report at the end of the five years that outlines progress against the baseline using the indicators developed in the action plan.
Phase 3 – Continual Improvements (Year 5 and beyond)
- Make continual improvements. Membership is automatically renewed following a positive assessment and the submission of a revised action plan.