Older Adults
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Age-Friendly Consulting Services

March 18, 2024
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“A world in which you would want to grow older.” – World Health Organization definition of an Age-Friendly WorldOver the past ten years, the Center for Community Solutions has collaborated with cities and counties throughout Ohio as they have engaged in the process to become Age-Friendly communities. The first guide to Age-friendly cities was developed by the World Health Organization in 2007 and the WHO Global Network of Age-friendly cities and communities was launched in 2010.

We worked closely with the steering committee to create tools that would be useful in developing a plan for their community.

In 2012, AARP became an independent affiliate of the Global Network and created the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities. Communities in Ohio and across the United States work with and are supported by AARP as they engage in the assessment, planning and implementation that creates an Age-friendly community.

Age Friendly Stark

Through our consulting work, Community Solutions worked with two communities in the past year on their journey to age-friendliness. In Stark County, we worked with their age-friendly advisory committee to assess the current age-friendliness of their community. We conducted a survey and focus groups and with the results developed both a report and data deck.The advisory committee felt strongly that the assessment results needed to be easily accessible and easily understood by the community. We worked closely with the steering committee to create tools that would be useful in developing a plan for their community.What are the social needs of older adults in Stark County? We learned that there are many residents in the community that experience loneliness and lack close relationships. Social opportunities and well-designed spaces can provide solutions that mitigate feelings of loneliness and isolation. Community members in Stark County gathered in early March 2024 to discuss the findings of the assessment and develop a plan of action to improve aspects of their community that will continue to move it towards a “world where you want to grow older.”

City of Worthington Age-Friendly Action Plan

Community Solutions also had the opportunity to work with the City of Worthington to create an Age-Friendly Action Plan. The plan was approved by Worthington City Council on February 19, 2024.  Through a process of reviewing survey data, holding focus groups, listening sessions and open houses we worked closely with the Worthington Age-friendly steering committee to develop a plan addressing the most pressing needs of Worthington residents. The action plan will be implemented over the next three years.

Through analysis of focus group and listening session contributions, the steering committee identified four community values

  • Restoring and Strengthening Connections
  • Ability to Remain in Home/Community
  • Information Gathering and Sharing
  • Intergenerational Community Building

Strategies were developed for each of the community values to make improvements in Worthington. The community will use the action plan to guide implementation of the strategies as the work collectively to create a “community that is livable for a lifetime where people of all ages, abilities and affiliations matter and have opportunities to thrive.”

Learn more about The Center for Community Solutions Consulting Services.

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