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Age-Friendly DC

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About Age-Friendly DC

The Age-Friendly DC initiative is part of an international effort started by the World Health Organization (WHO) to respond to two significant demographic trends: urbanization and population aging. AARP is WHO’s United States agent. Age-Friendly DC joined the effort in 2012 and has since worked with DC agencies and community groups for changes in the following areas of focus that are expected to make it easier to grow older.

Age-Friendly DC 2018-2023 Areas of Focus, called Domains, are part of three Pillars.
PILLAR 1 - Built Environment

  1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings – increased accessibility to buildings and availability of safe recreational facilities.

  2. Transportation – safer, timely and affordable modes of private and public transportation.

  3. Housing – wider range of housing options for older residents, aging on place, and home modification programs.

PILLAR 2 – Changing Attitudes about Growing Older

  1. Social Participation – greater access to leisure and cultural activities and opportunities for older residents to participate in social and civic engagement with their peers and younger people.

  2. Respect and Social Inclusion – interest among neighbors and visitors in ethnic and cultural diversity, more multigenerational interaction and dialogue.

  3. Civic Participation – added promotion of paid work and volunteer activities for residents 50 years or older, and additional opportunities to engage in formulation of policies relevant to lives.

  4. Communication and Information – additional promotion of access to the use of technology to keep older residents connected to their community and friends and family, both near and far.

PILLAR 3 – Lifelong Health and Safety

  1. Community Support and Health Services – greater access to homecare services, clinics, and programs to promote wellness and active aging.

  2. Emergency Preparedness and Resilience, a DC focus – more information, education and training to ensure the safety, wellness, and readiness of residents 50 and over in emergency situations.

  3. Abuse, Neglect, and Fraud, a DC focus – greater emphasis on prevention and prosecution of financial exploitation, neglect, and physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

  4. Financial Security, a DC focus – help residents to understand life expectancy and the need to save throughout work years for living longer.

  5. Life Long Learning, a DC focus – offer greater access to resources to pursue desired knowledge.

  6. Public Safety, a DC focus – Make it possible for residents and visitors to say, “no matter what time or location, I feel safe at home and throughout the city.”

  7. Caregiving, a DC focus – increase training and support to any individual who offers assistance to another, who is 60 and over, to be safe, comfortable and engage with others.

Progress toward the Age-friendly City goal

WHO's graphic [PDF] illustrates the process.

Cycle of WHO Global Network of Age Friendly Cities

The "Cycle of WHO Global Nework of Age-friendly Cities©" includes:


The goal for years 1 and 2 are to:

  1. involve older people
  2. assess the age-friendliness
  3. develop a action plan, and 
  4. identify indicators 


For years 3 through 5, the goal is to: 

  1. Implement an action plan, and
  2. monitor indicators

Evalutate progress

After year 5, the goal is to evaluate the city's progress, including:

  1. measure progress
  2. identify successes and remaining gaps
  3. sumbit a progress report

Continual Improvement

  1. The program maintains a 5-year member cycle


The Age-Friendly DC Coordinator manages the strategic plan implementation and other work of the citywide effort. Contact the coordinator via email, [email protected].