Photo credit: Oasis
Building stronger communities for people of all ages
What does a strong community look like? It is a place where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Where housing is affordable and accessible, and neighborhoods are safe. Where jobs and volunteer opportunities are abundant, arts and culture are valued, and social activities and events are diverse and convenient. Where parks and open space are pleasant, safe, and welcoming to all ages. Where quality community and health services are available to all. Where public transportation is safe and accessible.
In short, they are great places to grow up and grow old. Funders who are interested in community development should consider adding support for age-friendly communities to their portfolios. Because investing in age-friendly communities is investing in stronger communities.
As we age, the knowledge, skill and experience we acquire benefits our communities in profound ways, from enhancing the workforce and bolstering the economy to providing care across generations and volunteering with religious organizations, educational programs, social or community services organizations, and other programs.
Older people bring stability to neighborhoods, are steady customers at local shops and restaurants. We are taxpayers and caregivers. We make donations of money and time to charities. We make significant contributions to the social, political, and environmental fabric of society.
GIA offers resources, information, and learning opportunities for those interested in supporting age-friendly communities. Among them are Age-Friendly Resources, developed in partnership with the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the Pfizer Foundation to help communities of any size learn about and launch an age-friendly effort; Funders for Age-Friendly Communities, an ongoing effort to help age-friendly community efforts continue to prosper even after private funders’ grants have ended; and Community AGEnda, a partnership between GIA and Pfizer Foundation from 2012-15 that funded efforts in five U.S. cities/regions to accelerate their growth as a community for all ages. GIA also provides Rural Aging Resources for those interested specifically in funding programs that benefit rural communities.