Several communities enrolled in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities have established programs to encourage local businesses to be age-friendly and AARP has released a resource highlighting examples of those programs from across the country. One example comes from Age-Friendly Boston’s “Age and Dementia Friendly Business Checklist,” which is the only example on the resource that includes both age AND dementia friendly.
The formal supports and rewards provided to a business varies by community. However, any business — whether in an age-friendly network community or not — can become age-friendly on its own.
To participate in Boston’s age- and dementia-friendly business program, an interested business completes an application, meets with a volunteer “business ambassador” and completes an employee training. Approved businesses receive a certification and window decal for the storefront. The shops and services are also included in a list on the city’s website. As of mid-2022, certified businesses include medical offices, coffee shops, banks, bakeries, beauty salons, restaurants, dry cleaners, a laundromat and even a liquor store.