Steps to becoming more age-friendly

image of age friendly guideThe steps below provide an overview for undertaking an age-friendly initiative in your community. These steps are meant to serve as a helpful guide that can be adapted based on your local conditions and local priorities. A detailed step-by-step approach for undertaking an age-friendly initiative in your community, including tools which can be adapted for use in your community along with information on funding opportunities, are provided in these two documents:
  1. Building age-friendly communities: A guide for local action PDF icon 
  2. Building age-friendly communities: Accompanying materials PDF icon 

Step 1: Establish an age-friendly committee

A project of this nature requires leadership, direction and commitment – a group of people who are committed to planning, coordination, and seeing the project through. Establishing an Age-Friendly Committee will provide the organizational structure required to pursue age-friendliness in your community.

Step 2: Have a resolution passed by your local government

An excellent way of formalizing your community’s commitment to becoming more
age-friendly is to have a resolution passed by your local government, signaling your community’s support for the age-friendly initiative.

A resolution offers more than symbolic importance. Local government is responsible for many aspects of community life. These include: the design and construction of roads, sidewalks and other public infrastructure; parks and recreation facilities; and local bylaws. If your local government commits to becoming more age-friendly, it can have a powerful impact on these aspects.

A resolution will also help your community’s age-friendly initiative gain formal recognition. This can be persuasive in engaging stakeholders and encouraging members of the community to take sustained actions in becoming more age-friendly.

Step 3: Conduct an age-friendly assessment of your community

A crucial step is to conduct an age-friendly assessment to determine where your community stands today in terms of age-friendliness, and how it can improve. The assessment will help:

  • Identify and celebrate existing age-friendly features and assets in your community,
  • Identify the organizations and sectors of your community that are champions in age-friendliness,
  • Determine where your community has opportunities to be more age-friendly,
  • Identify barriers to age-friendliness in your community, and
  • Engage members of the community.

Step 4: Develop and implement an action plan

The development and implementation of an action plan for making the community more age-friendly serves several purposes:

  • It can help determine specific, tangible actions that can be taken to become more age-friendly,
  • Set “high priority” actions, as well as short and medium term actions, and
  • Give community members the opportunity to become age-friendly leaders.

Developing the action plan should be a collaborative effort, involving your Age-Friendly Committee and key community stakeholders.