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.
The following list of resources — from AARP and elsewhere — relate to Domain 8 of the "8 Domains of Livability." The content is categorized into three groups by level of difficulty, with the first group generally being the easiest reads for people new to this work and the third featuring deeper, data- and policy-heavy papers and reports.
Introductory and Easy-to-Use Resources
- CareZone App
This free app helps caregivers stay organized and effective when caring for a parent, child, or someone in need by being able to safely organize files, contacts and medications, and coordinate with family and other caregivers using a shared calendar and journal. (AARP)
- Healthy Aging Fact Sheet
This National Council on Aging fact sheet provides detailed statistical information about the most prevalent barriers to healthy aging among seniors and sheds light on programs that help older adults live healthier lives. (National Council on Aging)
- Healthy Aging: Improving and Extending Quality of Life Among Older Americans
This two-pager focuses on a specific program called Walk Wise, Drive Smart, which was created in Hendersonville, North Carolina, to address the public health concern of pedestrian safety. Since the pilot program's implementation in 2005, it has helped to educate officials, planners and residents and make changes to the community, such as improved walkways and roadways, the development of pedestrian safety plans and installation of outdoor benches at strategic locations. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- How to Work with Public Health to Advance Livable Communities
Since a population’s health and well-being is greatly influenced by having safe, healthy, "livable" communities, a primary focus of public health work is on helping support livable communities efforts. This "Livable Lesson" from AARP Livable Communities provides an overview about what public health professionals do and how their expertise can help with livability work. (AARP)
- Planning for Healthy Living: The Next Challenge
In order to improve physical and mental health, reduce social pathology, and strengthen community "social immune systems," we must rebuild our sprawling suburbs and inner city neighborhoods so they support the development of face-to-face interaction and community in traffic-calmed streets and lively neighborhood squares. This article focuses on the extent to which existing planning leads to isolationism and social dysfunction. (International Making Cities Livable)
- Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families
No matter where a person is in the continuum of caregiving — whether its to be anticipating a need, helping coordinate a big move, or taking care of a parent full-time — this 36-page guidebook with worksheets provides needed information.
- Public Health and Age-Friendly Communities
The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities offers state and local health departments a unique opportunity to build upon current public health efforts by extending the reach and expanding synergies among initiatives at the community level. (AARP)
Tool Kits and Comprehensive Overviews
- A Healthy Toronto by Design Report: Creating Healthy Built Environments
Part of the Healthy Toronto by Design series about ways local communities share the health of their residents, this report showcases examples of innovative practices and policies across city government in Toronto that promote healthy built environments. (Toronto Public Health)
- Growing Smarter, Living Healthier: A Guide to Smart Growth and Active Aging
Age-friendly communities use Smart Growth principles (i.e. ensuring that development improves the community, environment, economy and public health) to become healthier places to grow old in — and better places for people of all ages. The guidebook discusses the basic principles of neighborhood and community design that foster aging in place and improve community livability. (Evironmental Protection Agency)
- Pathways to Better Community Wayfinding
Produced by the Centers for Disease Control Healthy Aging Research Center and its partners, this document introduces the concept of wayfinding (i.e. "the process by which we find our way from place to place”) and why it benefits quality of life and improves public health. (U.S. Centers for Disease Control)
- Promising Strategies for Creating Healthy Eating and Active Living Environments
Seeking to identify high impact approaches that will lead to having more, as the authors state, "healthy people in healthy places," this document outlines of 10 key strategies for transforming communities into healthy living environments that make healthy food options attainable and physical activity accessible. (Prevention Institute)
- Strengthening the Effectiveness of Services for Older Americans
Published in 2012, this report outlines the key elements that are needed in order for the Older American Act (OAA) to be effective and efficient about age planning. (National Council on Aging and the Gerontological Society of America)
In-Depth Reports, Policy Papers and Analysis
- Healthy Planning: An Evaluation of Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans Addressing Public Health
The Healthy Planning report establishes a framework and identifies tools and strategies for integrating public health-related goals and policies into the plan-making process. (American Planning Association)
- Intersections: Health and the Built Environment
The built environment is part of the health problem. But it is also part of the solution. This Urban Land Institute report explains how and notes that city planners, leaders and developers are being looked at for solutions. (Urban Land Institute)
- Metropolitan Area Transportation Planning for Healthy Communities
Four metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) are featured in this report's best practice studies (Sacramento and San Diego in California; Nashville, Tennessee; Puget Sound, Washington) produce visible and significant results through connecting transportation planning activities to health considerations, even though they differ in their sources of motivation, their focus on different aspects or stages of the planning process, and the steps they are taking to consider health. (U.S. Department of Transportation)
Published Summer 2015. Compiled by Katelyn Dwyer and Joseph Cheatham.
Learn how to check the "livability score" of any address in the U.S.