Age-Friendly Massachusetts

Creating communities where we can grow up and grow old together.

What does the term “Age-Friendly” mean?

Age-Friendly describes a movement to make communities more welcoming and livable for older residents and people of all ages. It describes efforts we can take together to create places where people can grow up and grow old together. AARP has identified eight areas for communities throughout the country to focus on improving:

  1. Outdoor Spaces & Buildings

5.  Respect & Social Inclusion

  1. Transportation

6.  Civic Participation & Employment

  1. Housing

7.  Communication & Information

  1. Social Participation

8.  Community & Health Service


Becoming Age-Friendly Massachusetts

Massachusetts joined the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities in 2018 and released the Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan, which defines tangible and measurable goals to advance Massachusetts as an age- and dementia-friendly state. More than 200 communities in Massachusetts already are working on age- and dementia-friendly initiatives, including earning the Age-Friendly designation and/or signing a Dementia Friendly Pledge. Cities and towns are implementing changes to local policies, programs, services, and the built environment to create communities where older people can thrive. 


Tracking Age-Friendly Progress

The Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan serves as the state’s multiyear plan to make the Commonwealth, as a whole, more age- and dementia-friendly. Each year, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) releases a progress report, outlining the strides the Commonwealth has made to becoming more age- and dementia-friendly. 

In 2023, EOEA released the podcast, ReiMAgine Aging, as the year four progress report. The podcast highlights local efforts that make Massachusetts a great place to grow up and grow older together. Each episode takes listeners to different Massachusetts communities that are delivering unique and innovative age- and dementia-friendly programs. ReiMAgine Aging is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or by clicking the links below:

ReiMAgine Aging was produced in partnership with the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) with funding from Point32Health Foundation. 

Explore additional ways Massachusetts has become more age- and dementia-friendly by reading the previous years’ progress reports.


Why is it important for Massachusetts to become Age-Friendly?

Massachusetts has always been a leader in providing services and support to older residents. Today, we have more residents over the age of 60 than under the age of 20, and this growing population of older people offers an opportunity to develop new ways to help residents age and thrive in the places where they live, work and volunteer.


Is Age-Friendly just about helping older people?

No, age-friendly communities are more welcoming and livable for people of all ages.  When we help an older person continue to live, work, and volunteer in our communities, we all benefit from their energy, experience and contributions. As we grow older, we want to be able to live as independently as we can, in cities and towns where our contributions are respected and valued and our changing needs are supported.


How can I get involved?

To find out if your town is working to become Age-Friendly, view the tracking map on the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative website

To find out how you can get involved in the Age-Friendly movement in your own city or town, contact your local Council on Aging, or the Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative for more information.

We want your feedback! Review the Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan and give us your feedback. We value the important voice of older adults, caregivers, communities, and stakeholders and look forward to reading your suggestions. To provide input on the Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan please submit comments online through our online form, or by contacting EOEA by phone at 617-727-7750

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