Perceptions of the “Age Friendly” Term Analyzed by Center for the Future of Aging at Milken Institute

Jun 7, 2023

The Center for the Future of Aging at the Milken Institute set out to learn the public’s familiarity with the term “age-friendly” using a survey of more than 1,000 adults age 40 and older.

According to survey results, 81% of respondents were aware of the term “age-friendly.” Older adults (ages 65+) lagged in the self-described extreme or moderate level of awareness compared to adults aged 40–64. In the surveyed population, the term “age-friendly” was most often understood to apply to communities (57%), followed by health systems (41%) and cities (25%). Most people believed “age-friendly” refers to all ages, even though age-friendly health systems are designed to meet the unique needs of older adults. These survey results provide the age-friendly ecosystem field with insights into the awareness and perceptions of the term “age-friendly,” highlighting opportunities to bolster understanding.

Housing, transportation, and health and community services ranked as the most important aspects of Age-friendly communities among respondents.

The information from the survey, including a brief look into the term “dementia friendly,” may be useful to age- and dementia friendly communities and stakeholders in promoting and advancing local and regional initiatives.