Eight ways to make an age-friendly community

By Katie York, PhD, MBA
Project Director, Lifelong Montclair

After attending a conference on age-friendly communities, I realized how far Lifelong Montclair has come but how far we still have to go.  Lifelong Montclair, a Partners for Health initiative in collaboration with the Township of Montclair, started two years ago under the moniker Aging in Place in Montclair.  As we gained community partners, we rebranded to Lifelong Montclair and hit the ground running.  We now have 27 partner organizations and are seeing collaborative programs flourishing.

And the reason I was at a conference on age-friendly communities is that we’ve been designated as one.  We are a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, which confers membership in the World Health Organization’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities.  We’re the second NJ community to have this distinction.  This designation is an exciting opportunity to both highlight our current efforts and inspire our new ones.  The networks use a framework of Eight Domains of Livability:

  1. Outdoor spaces and buildings
  2. Transportation
  3. Housing
  4. Social participation
  5. Respect and social inclusion
  6. Civic participation and employment
  7. Communication and information
  8. Community support and health services

We’ll be highlighting projects in each of these domains, so stay tuned!