Getting started

To start building your age-friendly community we have some tasks and questions to get you thinking.

Define your community

This will help you determine who the key players are and who needs to be involved. According to Pedlar, Haworth et al, 1999, community has a broad definition and can mean different things to different people including:

  • A group of individuals with common interests or concerns
  • A group of individuals working within a specific organization
  • Groups or organizations within a community area that they serve
  • A business or group of businesses wanting to better meet their customers’ needs
  • A geographical community such as a region, municipality, town, city, or neighbourhood

What ‘hat’ are you wearing?

Before getting started, think about the many roles that exist within your organization or community. Consider the following:

  • What perspectives need to be involved in the planning of an age-friendly community?
  • What role do you hold? What roles are missing?
  • Whom could you collaborate to create a stronger age-friendly community?

Some groups/members/roles you may want to consider including in your committee include:

  • Citizens, clients, or customers and their family members or care partners
  • Staff who work directly with citizens, clients, or customers
  • Community or organizational leaders, policy and decision makers
  • Groups or organizations that plan and advocate for healthy community design, sustainable, and walkable communities
  • Public health professionals who work in areas such as injury and falls prevention, physical activity, healthy communities, or health and the built environment
  • Private and not-for-profit service providers in health, transportation, housing, or other sectors
  • Planners – municipal, not-for-profit, or private

Define your purpose for becoming age-friendly

  • Start a group brainstorm on why your community wants to become age-friendly and the benefits of building an age-friendly community
    • Use these benefits to initiate discussion
  • Develop targets for your community
    • What is the mission and goals of your group?
    • What is your collective vision of a truly age-friendly community?

One step at a time!

Below are specific steps your community may take on the path to becoming more age-friendly! Each community is unique so you may need to come up with additional steps, but these will serve as great guidelines! Click on on Expand All to see more information about each step.

Key points about becoming age-friendly

  • Creating an age-friendly community does not happen overnight; it takes time and commitment to initiate real change.
  • Be sure to recognize and celebrate the small successes that will be achieved along the way.
  • Involve older adults in all stages of the process including planning, implementing and decision-making.
    • This is the key to creating an age-friendly community!

Tips for navigating our website

  • Click Guiding principles to learn about the foundation on which you will build your age-friendly community.