Network of Age Friendly Communities
Alameda County joined the Global Network of Age Friendly Communities on June 4, 2019. In response to the rapid increase in the population of older adults worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006 launched its Global Network for Age Friendly Cities and Communities. WHO defines age-friendly as follows:
“An age-friendly world enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.”
You can learn more about the international effort, which now includes more than 20 countries, at WHO’s website.AARP facilitates the WHO program in the United States, called the AARP Network of Age Friendly States and Communities. That network now includes several states and hundreds of communities nationwide, including Alameda County and the cities of Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, and Emeryville. Communities join through official action of the governing entity.
Domains of Livability
Once a community has decided to join the network and launch its age friendly effort, it carries out a community needs assessment and then writes and implements an action plan. Needs are categorized according to the following eight “domains of livability”:
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
- Social Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Civic Participation and Employment
- Communication and Information
- Community and Health Services
Communities may modify domains to meet their needs. You can learn more about domains here.
Age friendly efforts are taking place in many areas. Related efforts include:
The Alameda County Area Agency on Aging (AAA), funded largely by the Older Americans Act, procures a wide range of direct services and is responsible for creating the quadrennial Countywide Plan for Older Adults
The Alameda County Advisory Commission on Aging oversees the work of the Area Agency on Aging
A strong network of community based organizations that work on older adult issues, many of whom are represented on Alameda County’s Council for Age Friendly Communities or are members of the Senior Services Coalition of Alameda County
The Alameda County Council for Age Friendly Communities serves as a forum for bridging these many initiatives
AC Care Connect, Alameda County’s Whole Person Care Pilot, is delivering an innovative model of multifaceted care to some of the most vulnerable residents of Alameda County, many of whom are older adults.
All-In Alameda County, the New War on Poverty, works to address the needs of older adults, among others.
- Alameda County’s General Services Agency has examined the impacts of climate change on older adults