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Conceptualizing age-friendly communities

Menec, Verena H.; Means, Robin; Keating, Norah; Parkhurst, Graham; Eales, Jacquie


Verena H. Menec

Robin Means

Norah Keating

Jacquie Eales


On the political and policy front, interest has increased in making communities more "age-friendly", an ongoing trend since the World Health Organization launched its global Age-Friendly Cities project. We conceptualize age-friendly communities by building on the WHO framework and applying an ecological perspective. We thereby aim to make explicit key assumptions of the interplay between the person and the environment to advance research or policy decisions in this area. Ecological premises (e.g., there must be a fit between the older adult and environmental conditions) suggest the need for a holistic and interdisciplinary research approach. Such an approach is needed because age-friendly domains (the physical environment, housing, the social environment, opportunities for participation, informal and formal community supports and health services, transportation, communication, and information) cannot be treated in isolation from intrapersonal factors, such as age, gender, income, and functional status, and other levels of influence, including the policy environment. © Canadian Association on Gerontology 2011.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Sep 1, 2011
Journal Canadian Journal on Aging
Print ISSN 0714-9808
Electronic ISSN 1710-1107
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 30
Issue 3
Pages 479-493
APA6 Citation Menec, V. H., Menec, V., Means, R., Keating, N., Parkhurst, G., & Eales, J. (2011). Conceptualizing age-friendly communities. Canadian Journal on Aging / Revue canadienne du vieillissement, 30(3), 479-493.
Keywords social environment, physical environment, community environment, ecological theory, healthy aging
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