The future of communities around the world will be determined by the efforts to achieve a high quality of life for older citizens, says a new study. Age-friendly communities are designed to promote “aging-in-place”, which is the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely and independently regardless of age or income.

Developing cities that meet the interests of all generations should be an important goal for economic and social policy. “The concomitant growth of cities and of an older population within those cities has come to generate a disjuncture between physical infrastructure and resident needs,” said Robert B. Hudson, editor of the journal Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR) that published the study. “Modern economic growth results largely from private sector INVESTMENTS and incentives which pay little heed to the concerns of vulnerable populations,” Hudson noted.

The authors addressed the evolution of the age-friendly community movement, presenting a review of four major age-friendly community initiatives. They stressed on a challenge to move beyond locally-based initiatives and to engage policymakers at the state and federal levels to galvanise the movement. Together, these conceptual pieces provide a thorough review of what forms age-friendly communities may take, how they work on the ground and what next steps should be considered, the authors concluded.

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