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 the overwhelming desire of older Americans 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 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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