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How Do I Get Started?

Below are steps your community may take on the path towards becoming more age friendly. Each community is unique, so you may have some additional steps to add to this list as well.

Stage 1: Set the Stage for Change
Stage 2: Clarify Values and Objectives
  • Clarify the values guiding your project
  • Define the scope and scale of your project
  • Develop a ‘terms of reference’
    Use the resource: Sample Terms of Reference
  • Visit the following sections of the website:  Guiding Principles
Stage 3: Assess Your Community
Stage 4: Determine Goals and Develop a Strategic Plan
  • Identify short, mid, and long term goals toward becoming age friendly
    Use the tool: Goal Setting
  • Communicate your goals and progress to the larger community
  • Visit the following sections of the website:  Building Blocks
Stage 5: Implement Your Plan
  • Identify the tools and resources needed to support the implementation of each strategy
  • Review your progress, make appropriate adaptations, and redefine your strategy or goals
  • Celebrate successes along the way!
  • Visit the following sections of the website:  Community Sectors
    Resources
    Success Stories

 

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Instructional Video - Getting Started

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Click here for video transcript


Things to Think About

Defining your community

Defining your community before getting started will help you to know who needs to be involved. Community can mean a number of different things to different people and can include:

  • a group of individuals with common interests or concerns
  • a group of individuals working within a specific organization
  • groups or organizations within a community area that they serve
  • a business or group of businesses wanting to better meet their customers’ needs
  • a geographical community such as a region, municipality, town, city, or neighbourhood

(Pedlar, Haworth et al, 1999)

What ‘hat’ are you wearing?

Before getting started, think about the ‘hats’ that exist within your organization or community. Also consider what perspectives need to be involved in the planning of an age friendly community? What ‘hat’ am I wearing as I go through this process? What ‘hats’ are missing? Who could partner with us to create a more age friendly community?

Other groups or members to consider in your age friendly initiative include:

  • Citizens, clients, or customers including their caregivers
  • Front-line staff who work directly with citizens, clients, or customers
  • Community or organizational leader, policy and decision makers
  • Other groups or organizations that plan and advocate for healthy community design, sustainable and walkable communities
  • Public health professionals who work in related areas such as injury and falls prevention, physical activity, healthy communities, or health and the built environment
  • Both private and not-for-profit service providers in health, transportation, housing, or other community services
  • Planners - municipal, not-for-profit, or private
Defining your purpose for becoming age friendly
  • We suggest your group brainstorm on why your community wants to become age friendly and what the benefits will be. You can use these benefits to initiate discussion.
  • Develop targets for your community. What is the mission and goals of your group? What is your collective vision of a truly age friendly community?

Key points about becoming Age Friendly

  • An age friendly community does not happen overnight; it takes time and commitment to initiate real change.
  • Be sure to recognize and celebrate the small successes that will be achieved along the way.
  • Involve older adults in all stages of the process including planning, implementing, and decision making. This is key to creating an age friendly community.
Click here for things to think about.