— Become Age-Friendly Toolkit —

2. How Do I Begin the Age-Friendly Process?

How do I begin the Age-Friendly community process? What does it take to get started?

You are off to a good start in your determination to make your community a place where the needs of older adults are important to all. Invite like-minded individuals to join you in this initiative! Recruit community members who bring different skills and experience to your age-friendly project, those with interest and subject matter expertise that relates to the unique needs of your older population.

Examples of these stakeholders you could invite to join an age-friendly team and to engage in your work:

  • Community based organizations
  • Community foundations
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Town officials
  • Representatives from local town departments: housing authority, senior services, school board, etc.
  • Library leadership
  • Active local volunteers
  • Civic organizations
  • Local healthcare organizations
  • Health and fitness communities
  • Chamber of commerce and local businesses
  • Academic institutions

The next step involves an individual or team review of your town or city's Comprehensive Plan to determine if age-friendliness is addressed and to what degree. Does the plan identify the unique needs of older adults and contain a plan to address those needs so that older adults thrive rather than simply survive? This will inform your work and determine if your age-friendly initiative will involve amending an existing plan or creating one in order to create a framework and guide your work.

Additional Tips for Getting Started

Meet with representatives from Age-Friendly RI to discuss getting started and to coordinate support from Age-Friendly which can provide materials, presentations, and connections to successful Age-Friendly communities.

Use the Rhode Island 2016 Healthy Aging Data Report to inform your work to help make your community and RI more age-friendly: healthyagingdatareports.org

Learn More About Age-Friendly Global Practices