Aging-Friendly Community Models

There has been a wave of initiatives across the country to support the overwhelming desire of older Americans to stay in their own homes and communities as they age.

There has been a wave of initiatives across the country to support older Americans’ desire to stay in their own homes and communities as they age. Age-friendly communities support multigenerational homes and intergenerational living environments. Policies, services and structures, related to the physical and social environment of aging-friendly communities, are designed to help seniors “age actively.” These communities are specifically designed to help seniors live safely, remain healthy, and stay active and involved.

Framework to Create Aging-Friendly Communities

Grant Makers in Aging, in collaboration with the Pfizer Foundation, has published an online primer that offers a framework to create age-friendly communities. It suggests that an ideal framework for an aging-friendly community may feature the following aspects:

  • Municipal and regional planning that provides opportunities for input of older adults
  • Housing and other building design that is affordable, adaptive/accessible, and provides multigenerational options
  • Social services and community/based programs that offer including nutrition programs, adult day programs, and caregiver support
  • Transportation infrastructure and programs that provide multi-modal options, promote walkability, and provide accessible features for older adults
  • Health promotion and community-supported services/programs that enhance the physical health and wellbeing of senior citizens
  • Civic engagement opportunities, including intergenerational initiatives and volunteerism
  • Efforts to promote access to information and new technology

National Models

Several national aging-friendly community models have emerged, which may be appropriate for


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