1. Learn about age-friendly communities

Local Resources

Age-Friendly Communities in MA
Find out which communities in MA have joined the WHO/AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, are in the process of exploring this option, or are implementing another age-friendly model.

Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative: Building Momentum for an Age-Friendly Massachusetts
This fact sheet (revised January 2017) provides an overview of how and why the Healthy Aging Collaborative is supporting age-friendly communities in Massachusetts.

Age- and Dementia-Friendly Integration Toolkit
Source: MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs
Massachusetts developed this toolkit to simplify a community’s work to meet the needs of residents as they age. It brings together resources from the national and global age-friendly and dementia-friendly movements and directs users to guidance, examples, and case studies. It also includes an aligned framework between the “Eight Domains” developed by WHO and the sectors of a Dementia Friendly community.

AARP Livable Communities
Source: AARP
Learn more about the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, which is an affiliate of the WHO global network.

Age-Friendly Massachusetts (ReiMAgine Aging)
Source: MA Executive Office of Elder Affairs
The Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan serves as the state’s multiyear plan to make the Commonwealth, as a whole, more age- and dementia-friendly. It is based on a broad range of work over the course of many years from a diverse set of stakeholders as well as input from residents across Massachusetts.

Dementia Friendly Massachusetts
Source: Massachusetts Councils on Aging
The Massachusetts Councils on Aging serves as the backbone organization for promoting Dementia Friendly communities, which includes a community pledge, resources, training/education opportunities, and regional meetings.

Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report and Community Profiles
Source: UMass Boston w/ Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation
The report and Community Profiles are designed to help residents, agencies, providers, and governments understand the older adults who live in their cities and towns – their ages, living arrangements, health status, strengths, and vulnerabilities. The report was first released in January 2014 and updated in March 2015 and most recently in December 2018.

The 2018 report includes 379 Community Profiles: 351 for each of the Commonwealth’s 351 cities and towns plus neighborhoods in Boston, Springfield, and Worcester. Each Community Profile includes 179 indicators of individual and community health listed alongside state averages, allowing for a comparison of how a town is doing relative to the rest of the state by each variable.

WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities
Source: WHO
The WHO Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities (the Network) was established to foster the exchange of experience and mutual learning between cities and communities worldwide striving to better meet the needs of their older residents. Use this website to browse the global network and learn how to join the network.

What We Have and What We Need: Report on Demographics, Programs, and Services for an Age- and Dementia-Friendly Commonwealth (2017)
Source: UMass-Boston w/ Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation
This report provides a comprehensive look at the current activities and resources in place to support populations over 65 years old and those living with dementia and their caregivers.

It offers recommendations for building age- and dementia-friendly communities identifies gaps in resources for this growing population, and includes strategies to increase those supports.

General resources

Checklist of Essential Features of Age-Friendly Cities
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
Use this checklist to assess how your community is doing in the seven WHO domains of age-friendly cities.

Age-Friendly America Database
Source: Grantmakers in Aging (GIA)
A searchable database of more than 200 programs, to find out what’s going on in your area and nationwide

GIA’s Community AGEnda
Source: Grantmakers in Aging (GIA)
This website provides information about GIA’s age-friendly initiative, including resources to help funders, nonprofits, governments, planners, and citizens, as well as information about the five communities that have received grants to accelerate their age-friendly efforts.

The Case for Age-Friendly Communities (2016)
Source: GIA
This report sets the stage and provides a value-proposition for age-friendly communities.

Guiding Principles for the Sustainability of Age-Friendly Community Efforts
Source: GIA
This resource includes a framework with five sustainability principles for age-friendly communities, as well as best practices and success stories.

Better Together: A Comparative Analysis of Age-Friendly and Dementia Friendly Communities
Source: AARP
Learn more about the intersection of the age-friendly and dementia-friendly initiatives.

2015 Age-Friendly Report: Inspiring Communities
Source: AARP
This report includes 16 case studies from the U.S. and around the world.

Global age-friendly cities: A guide (2007)
Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
The purpose of this guide is to engage cities to become more age-friendly. It describes the converging trends of the rapid growth of the population over 60 years of age and of urbanization, outlines the challenge facing cities, and summarizes the research process that led to identifying the core features of an age-friendly city.

Making Your Community Livable for All Ages: What’s Working (2015)
Source: N4A
This report provides guidance to communities based on key strategies that are successfully advancing efforts to make communities more livable for all ages.