Age-friendly Cities and Communities is a global movement focused on creating communities where people of all ages have what they need for their health and wellbeing, are included, connected, and can actively participate. Age-friendly communities design and adapt their environment, policies, and services for residents of all ages and different capacities so that they are able to live the lives they value. In an age-friendly community, older people are valued, respected, and actively engaged.
Age-friendly communities are more liveable for everyone.
This global initiative is led by the World Health Organisation. The WHO Global Network for Age-friendly Cities and Communities currently includes 1000 cities and communities. Over 30 of these are in Australia.
Achieving an age-friendly Queensland has been a priority for COTA Queensland for over a decade. We believe that the WHO’s Age-friendly Cities and Communities framework is a valuable guide for Queensland’s political leaders, policy makers, and planners.
There are eight domains of age-friendly communities:
- Community support and health services;
- Outdoor spaces and buildings;
- Social participation;
- Respect and social inclusion;
- Civic participation and employment; and
- Communication and information.
These domains are all interconnected and impact on each other. That is why, in creating this change, it is essential that these areas are addressed in an integrated way. For example, an age-friendly health system must be complemented by transport systems that facilitate affordable access to health services and other aspects of the community, housing that is appropriate for people’s needs and promotes wellbeing, and opportunities for employment and civic and social participation that contribute to physical and mental health.
Because these changes involve so many varied aspects of communities, all stakeholders, including state government agencies, local government, employers, and the broader community need to embrace and enable age-friendly communities. The changes required will need not only the individual efforts of the public, private, and community sectors, but a commitment to collaboration and co-operation.
We actively advocate for and support the connections and collaboration needed to co-create progress towards an age-friendly Queensland.
What we are doing
We work with governments, non-government organisations, businesses, and older people to promote age-friendly communities.
Example of recent work include
- collaboration on a series of workshops with the Queensland Government and the Ageing Revolution to support communities to adopt age-friendly tools and champion local initiatives
Find more information
Want to know more about the WHO’s program? Visit the Age-Friendly World website.
Looking for some ideas? The World Health Organisation has created a checklist. You can also download this Age-friendly Community Toolkit – your go-to guide to bringing age-friendly initiatives to life in your community.
For more information about the Queensland Government’s work towards an age-friendly state, visit www.qld.gov.au/agefriendlycommunity.