Age-friendly communities in MA

Revised April 2018

A wave of communities across MA are actively pursuing or exploring an age-friendly designation through the WHO/AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. Some are implementing other age-friendly models.

  • This interactive map tracks all communities across the state that active or emerging age- and dementia friendly.
  • This fact sheet details how the MA Healthy Aging Collaborative is building a movement for an age-friendly Massachusetts.

Learn more about the actions of the selected communities below:

Age-Friendly Boston

The Age-Friendly Boston project seeks to create an environment in which older adults can continue to lead healthy and productive lives in Boston.

The City of Boston joined the AARP/WHO Network of Age-Friendly Communities in 2014. In May 2017, Boston released the Age-Friendly Boston Action Plan, which includes 75 action items developed through 25 listening sessions, featuring engagement from over 4,000 older residents throughout Boston. The plan was developed in partnership with AARP, Tufts Health Plan Foundation and UMass Boston.

Berkshire County

Age Friendly Berkshires’ mission is to create a more livable Berkshire County for people of all ages, with a focus on the needs of an aging population. This region-wide initiative includes the 32 cities and towns comprising Berkshire County.

2014

  • The Age Friendly Berkshires Task Force was formally created with broad representation including all sectors of the community

2015

  • Age Friendly Berkshires was formally accepted into the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities.
  • Age Friendly Berkshires was awarded a generous two-year grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to begin a 2-year planning process, leading to the creation of the Age Friendly Berkshires Action Plan.
  • Berkshire Regional Planning Commission designated as the backbone organization for AFB, providing ongoing technical assistance and staff support to the larger organization.

 2017

  • Age Friendly Berkshires was awarded a second, two-year grant from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, to begin the Implementation Phase of our Action Plan, guided by the completed Age Friendly Berkshires Action Plan.
  • AFB received a grant from the National Aging and Disability Transportation Center (NADTC), to establish a pilot transportation-sharing program between Councils on Aging in different municipalities.
  • Supported by a grant from AARP – Massachusetts, the Age Friendly Berkshires website was created and went live at year end. When fully built out, the site will serve as the hub for “all things Age Friendly.”

The Village Model

Villages are membership-driven, grass-roots, community organizations. While often focused on older adults, some Villages serve a broader group of people. The Village model was first pioneered by Beacon Hill Village, which is a member-driven organization for Boston residents age 50 and over. Beacon Hill Village provides programs and services so members can lead vibrant, active and healthy lives while living in their own homes and neighborhoods. Since enrolling its first members in 2002, there are 16 active village communities and four in development in MA as of October 2017.

Learn more in this report from the Executive Office of Elder Affairs: 2017 Guide of Villages and Similar Aging in Community Models (PDF)

Yarmouth

The Yarmouth Age-Friendly Community project seeks to provide and maximize opportunities for health, participation and security for all residents of Yarmouth. The town supports active aging in an enabling community that maintains quality of life and well-being for everyone. Yarmouth joined the WHO Age-Friendly Network in 2014.

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