Department of Aging

Age-Friendly City Initiative

The City of Cleveland was designated as an Age-friendly City by the World Health Organization (WHO) 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.

"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."

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 (2) global demographic trends: the rapid aging of populations and increasing urbanization.” The network identifies eight (8) domains of city life that might influence the health and quality of life of older adults:

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Outdoor spaces and buildings

Environment, green spaces and walkways, outdoor seating, pavements, roads, traffic, cycle paths, safety, services, buildings, public toilets.

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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.

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Affordability, essential services, design, modifications, maintenance, aging-in- place, community integration, housing options, living environment. 

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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. 

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Respect and social inclusion

Respectful and inclusive services, public images of aging, intergenerational and family interactions, public education, community inclusion, economic inclusion. 

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Civic participation and employment

Options of volunteering, employment options, post- retirement training, accessibility, civic participation, valued contributions, entrepreneurship, paid opportunities to work.

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Communication and information

Offer oral communication, printed information, plain language, automated communication and equipment, broad public access to computers and the internet.

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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.

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