Age Friendly Communities was developed by the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (now based at Schlegel-UW Research Institute for Aging) and community partners.
What is an age-friendly community?
This is what an age-friendly community means to members of our community:
- Where everyone has community pride
- Where everyone has choices and those choices are respected
- Where everyone can contribute
- Celebrates diversity
- Recognizes everyone’s unique skills and abilities
- Encourages citizen participation
Below you can watch a video that will give you an introduction to age-friendly communities.
Who can use these tools?
The tools you will encounter on our website are designed to be used by individuals, organizations, businesses, and communities that would like to initiate changes to become more age-friendly. To put it simply, these tools are for everyone!
Why should you use these tools?
There are many benefits of using our age-friendly community toolkit. Think back to the house model as you read these next few points:
- The guiding principles will guide your decision making and can help identify and address the unique needs and strengths of different communities
- The three building blocks will help you think systematically and creatively about building strong and supportive communities
- Our reflective questions will act as a guide as you work with each community sector
- Our approach places strong importance on collaboration, active participation, and community engagement
- Our website contains tools, resources, and specific examples to help you achieve your age-friendly goals
The development of our age-friendly community toolkit
These tools were developed in partnership with many community agencies and municipalities. All of our partners are committed to building communities that are sensitive to the needs of older adults and ensuring all citizens continue to be active, contributing members of the community.
- Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program
- Alzheimer Society Ontario
- Halton Region Older Adult Advisory Committee
- Ontario Professional Planners Institute
- Homewood Health Centre Geropsychiatry Community Education Program
- Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
- Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (formerly Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat)
Using a variety of research and resources, we were able to provide a comprehensive and holistic approach to becoming more age-friendly. This toolkit has been built upon the following resources:
- World Health Organization: Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide (PDF)
- The Government of Canada: Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities: A Guide (PDF)
- Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia’s (ADRD) Planning Framework
- Other tools are available on our Resources page
An age-friendly community can provide a range of benefits to help older adults, organizations, businesses, and the community as a whole.
Benefits for older adults:
- Promotes the sharing of resources and talents of all citizens
- Promotes physical, mental, social, and spiritual well-being of all citizens
- Ensures older adults are able to thrive throughout their life
- Ensures older adults continue to be contributing members of the community
Benefits for organizations (not-for-profit):
- Encourages organization policy, practice, and behaviours that meet the needs of older adults
- Striving to become age-friendly may help your organization obtain funding from the government or other agencies that expect inclusive and accessible practices
- Helps mobilize strong collaborations and partnerships
Benefits for businesses:
- Helps meet the needs of your customers and increases access to your services for all citizens, possibly increasing sales
- Gives a competitive edge over businesses that are not accessible to all citizens
- Includes older adults in decision making, which may strengthen your capacity to understand and meet the needs of a growing market
Benefits for the community:
- Creates a society that is informed about inclusion and accessibility
- Builds a supportive and encouraging environment that respects all citizens
- Enables people to live independently and be in control of their life while maintaining safety and security
- Creates a community that is socially connected and is focused on building relationships
Tips for navigating our website
- Click Getting started to learn the first steps of building your age-friendly community!