Age-Friendly DC

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An individual’s quality of life can be influenced by many things: health, the environment, transportation, and social activity, to name just a few. WHO identified eight categories of influence and the District added six, bringing Age-Friendly DC’s to 14 organized in 3 Pillars. The categories are referred to as domains.

The 14 domains, divided into 3 Pillars will help those involved with Age-Friendly DC to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate and improve. Simply put, the domains provide the focus needed to achieve and maintain progress toward the Age-Friendly City aim to transform the District into an easier city in which to grow older.

The domains by Pillar the District is implementing are:

Pillar 1: Built Environment

1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings — accessibility to and availability of safe recreational facilities

2. Transportation — safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation

3. Housing — wide range of housing options for older residents, aging in place and other home modification programs

Pillar 2: Changing Attitudes about Growing Older

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

5. Respect and Social Inclusion — programs to support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, along with programs to encourage multigenerational interaction and dialogue

6. Civic Participation and Employment — promotion of paid work and volunteer activities for older residents and opportunities to engage in formulation of policies relevant to their lives

7. Communication and Information — promotion of and 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 Security

8. Community Support and Health Services — access to homecare services, clinics and programs to promote wellness and active aging.

9. Emergency Preparedness and Resilience — information, education and training to ensure the safety, wellness and readiness of seniors in emergency situations. (District-specific)

10. Abuse, Neglect and Fraud — prevention and prosecution of financial exploitation, neglect, and physical, sexual and emotional abuse of seniors (District-specific)

11. Financial Security - a city where strategies for savings are promoted to have funds for retirement years (District-specific)

12. Lifelong Learning – opportunities to fill knowledge gaps, pursue interests and new career directions (District-specific)

13. Public Safety - residents who are 50 and over feel safe, no matter the time or location (District-specific)

14. Caregiving – those who care for family and friends are supported (District-specific)


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