Age-Friendly Cleveland

The City of Cleveland was designated as an Age-friendly City by the World Health Organization and joined the Global Network of Age Friendly Cities (GNAFC) in 2014. The City of Cleveland joined the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities in 2015.

Additional information is available here:

"An Age-Friendly City is a place that enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities. It is a place that treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age. It is a place that makes it easy to stay connected to those around you and those you love. It is a place that helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages. And it is a place that helps those who can no longer look after themselves to live with dignity and enjoyment."

Those interested in becoming a partner or learning more can contact Angela Niemiec, Project Coordinator for Age Friendly Cleveland at 216.664.3954 or via email.

Project Organization

A critical feature of the Age Friendly Cleveland assessment was, and will continue to be, the involvement of older adults. Older adults were surveyed and included in focus groups during the assessment and planning phases.

Dr. Terry Hokenstad, Distinguished Professor of Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Sciences chairs a diverse Age Friendly Advisory Council which meets regularly to guide the implementation of this project.


  • 2014 – Cleveland obtained the Age Friendly designation and joined the World Health Organization’s (WHO) network of Age Friendly Cities
  • 2015 – Conducted Aging Needs Assessment by surveying over 1000 older adults and conducting focus groups
  • 2016 – Developed and adopted an Age Friendly Action Plan through planning summit and additional focus groups
  • 2017 – 2019 – Implementation of Age Friendly Action Plan including development and strengthening of 21 key strategies that focus on eight Age-Friendly Domains
  • 2020 – Reassess Age Friendliness of Cleveland

Project Support

Age Friendly Cleveland has been generously supported by The Cleveland Foundation, Saint Luke’s Foundation and The McGregor Foundation.

  • Age-Friendly Cleveland Videos Now Available on the Website

    The Department of Aging and TV20 have produced an ongoing series of videos on various senior-related topics of interest to the community.  These videos are now available on the City website.

Age-Friendly Domains

The World Health Organization (WHO) established the Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities as “an international effort to help cities prepare for two global demographic trends: the rapid aging of populations and increasing urbanization.” The network identifies eight domains of city life that might influence the health and quality of life of older adults:

Outdoor spaces and buildings: Environment, green spaces and walkways, outdoor seating, pavements, roads, traffic, cycle paths, safety, services, buildings, public toilets. Video
Transportation: Affordability, reliability and frequency, travel destinations, age-friendly vehicles, specialized services, priority seating, transport drivers, safety and comfort, transport stops and stations, information, community transport, taxis, roads, driving competence, parking. Video
Housing: Affordability, essential services, design, modifications, maintenance, aging-in- place, community integration, housing options, living environment. Video
Social participation: Accessibility of events and activities, affordability, range of events and activities, facilities and settings, promotion of awareness of activities, addressing isolation, fostering community integration, outreach to those at risk of social isolation. Video
Respect and social inclusion: Respectful and inclusive services, public images of aging, intergenerational and family interactions, public education, community inclusion, economic inclusion. Video
Civic participation and employment: Options of volunteering, employment options, post- retirement training, accessibility, civic participation, valued contributions, entrepreneurship, paid opportunities to work. Video
Communication and information: Offer oral communication, printed information, plain language, automated communication and equipment, broad public access to computers and the internet. Video
Community support and health services: Service accessibility, offer a range of health and community support services, voluntary support, emergency planning and care, coordinated service delivery. Video

2017 Strategies

Falls Prevention Campaign

Reduce the number of older adults who are injured by falls and increase feelings of personal safety at home and in the community.

City Planning Checklist

Incorporate age-friendly design criteria into future development and improvement projects within the city.

Call-in Senior Center

Create an opportunity for older adults to engage in senior center programming from a remote location.

Senior Companions

Expand existing senior companion program to encompass more volunteers who can reach a greater number of older adults.

Medical Equipment Exchange

Ensure all residents of the city of Cleveland have access to affordable, quality, durable medical equipment.

Age-Friendly Event Planning Guide

Increase the age- friendliness of community events by encouraging groups to plan for the needs of older adults.

2018 Strategies

Home Repair Coordination

Coordinate home repair programs with various agencies to maximize ability of older adult homeowners to age in place.

Long-Term Care Continuum

Gain an understanding of the current state of the long- term care system and identify recommendations to ensure care options for Cleveland residents.

Transit-Oriented Development

Include in new housing developments age-friendly housing centered around public transit and walkable neighborhoods.

Age-Friendly Business Certification

Incorporate age-friendly practices into the business model of businesses throughout the city.

Safe Biking Classes for Older Riders and Drivers

Increase bike use by older adults and improve understanding of traffic regulations and "rules of the road" regarding biking on streets.

Mature Worker Campaign

Through a marketing campaign, older adults are recognized as a valuable resource in the workplace and employers look to hire mature workers.

2019 Strategies


Handyman Older adults will have a resource to learn about home modifications and access to a professional handyman.

Snow Removal Coordination

A coordinated effort of various volunteer and civic groups will be implemented to increase options to remove snow from the driveways and sidewalks of older adults.

Access to Technology

Cleveland older adults will have access to affordable Internet, a device to access the Internet, and ongoing training.

Access To Cultural Events

More older adults will be able to take advantage of Cleveland's many cultural events either through volunteering or access to low-cost tickets or fees.

ADA/Vehicle Listing

Develop a comprehensive listing of transportation options and pricing for older adults and accessible vehicles that meet ADA requirements.

Encouraging Gardening

Increased access to intergenerational gardening opportunities within close proximity to senior centers and senior buildings.

Age-Friendly Cleveland Action Plan 2017-2019