Age-Friendly in Practice
“An Age-friendly City encourages active ageing by optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age. In practical terms an age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to and inclusive of older people with varying needs and capacities”
Age-friendly cities and communities:
- Recognize the wide range of capacities and resources among older people
- Anticipate and respond flexibly to ageing-related needs and preferences
- Respect older people’s decisions and lifestyle choices
- Protect those who are most vulnerable; and
- Promote older people’s inclusion in and contribution to all areas of community life
The WHO Age-friendly Cities Framework
The WHO Age-friendly Cities framework developed in the Global Age-friendly Cities Guide proposes eight interconnected domains that can help to identify and address barriers to the well-being and participation of older people.
These domains overlap and interact with each other. For example, respect is reflected in the accessibility of public buildings and spaces and in the range of opportunities that the city offers to older people for social participation, entertainment, volunteering or employment.
The lack of affordable public transport for example isolates older people who no longer drive in their homes and make participation in community life difficult, increasing the risk of isolation and loneliness. When transport is available and adapted to the needs of seniors, both in terms of scheduling and destinations, it enhances mobility and facilitates social participation and a sense of belonging in one’s community.
It is equally important that older people continue to have a good reason to go out and participate. Cultural offers and entertainment that cater to the interests of older people, opportunities for volunteering or civic engagement contribute to a fulfilling and enjoyable older age.