Age-Friendly Sarasota

January 2015 – Present

Age-Friendly Sarasota

The Purpose

Age-Friendly Sarasota is a countywide effort in Florida to promote active, engaged, and healthy living for people of all ages. By learning and sharing about Sarasota County's age-friendly features and the aspirations of its residents, this initiative is amplifying and bringing enhancements to the community that align with factors identified by the World Health Organization that influence the ability to live well at any age. Age-Friendly Sarasota is part of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities — an effort of more than 600 member cities and communities in 38 countries worldwide benefiting more than 190 million people — and was the first community in Florida to be recognized as an age-friendly community by WHO and AARP, a national affiliate of the global effort.

Strengthening the Impact

Combining community engagement with communications alignment, learning, and sharing is at the heart of Age-Friendly Sarasota. The Patterson Foundation strengthens the work of this initiative by connecting people, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government, and media focused on realizing aspirations of a community where people can live well at any age.

Through this support, Age-Friendly Sarasota has access to shared resources of the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities while establishing Sarasota County, Florida, as a model for other cities and communities pursuing age-friendly enhancements.

The Age-Friendly Festival was held on Saturday, October 28, 2017, at the Sarasota Fairgrounds and became the FIRST community celebration in the nation to focus on lifelong well-being while connecting people of all ages! The Patterson Foundation presented the festival as a gift to the community with free admission for everyone and no fees for organizations to participate. More than 125 organizations provided informative exhibits, interactive experiences, educational sessions, and entertainment for all ages to advance the age-friendly movement.


Click on frequently asked questions below to learn more about this initiative...

Why does The Patterson Foundation support this initiative?

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation. Through Age-Friendly Sarasota, The Patterson Foundation connects government, businesses, organizations, and people focused on these aspirations to create a community where all ages can live well.

Who is working on Age-Friendly Sarasota?

AARP Florida, Florida Department of Elder Affairs, Florida Policy Exchange Center on Aging at the University of South Florida, Sarasota County Government, and University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee are working in collaboration to engage the community as it creates pathways toward a more livable future for all Sarasota County residents. The efforts of these far-reaching organizations have been joined by businesses, government, non-profits, media, and people in our region to make this a true Age-Friendly Movement.

What are the next steps for Age-Friendly Sarasota?

The community's Age-Friendly Movement is well underway with the completion of a two-year assessment — Planning Phase (May 2015 – May 2017) — of Sarasota County's age-friendly assets. The assessment explored aspirations of Sarasota County's older residents (age 65 and older) and Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) in the World Health Organization's Eight Domains of Livability: Civic participation and employment, Communication and information, Community support and health services, Housing, Outdoor spaces and buildings, Respect and social inclusion, Social participation, and Transportation.

The Age-Friendly Sarasota Action Plan, a requirement of joining the WHO/AARP Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, was then created to identify age-friendly goals and objectives based on our earlier planning phase. It aims to incorporate actions throughout Sarasota County that were already underway or will be implemented in our Implementation Phase (June 2017 – May 2020).

Using the Action Plan link noted above, you can get involved in the Age-Friendly movement by reviewing the Age-Friendly Sarasota Action Plan and providing your feedback. Also, share with us how you or your Sarasota County organization or business is making our community more age-friendly.

What is the value of this initiative to our community and region?

Sarasota County has one of the nation's highest populations of older adults. Currently, older adults — those age 65 and older — represent one-third of Sarasota County residents, and more than half of Sarasota County's population is over age 50. Through learning and sharing the aspirations of these residents, Age-Friendly Sarasota facilitates a process for people to engage and plan for Sarasota County's future. Every generation is living longer, and Sarasota County will be ready to provide its residents with the opportunity to thrive in a livable community.

How will Age-Friendly Sarasota support organizations serving older adults in Sarasota County?

Age-Friendly Sarasota promotes healthy and active living for generations of residents across several interconnected domains, such as transportation and social participation. These efforts aspire to support the work of a broad range of entities to develop a more livable community including those organizations serving older residents.

What is the difference between Age-Friendly Sarasota and the Aging Mastery Program®?

Aging Mastery Program®, an initiative of the National Council on Aging, is offered at community-based organizations and is designed to engage and inform older adults to improve their physical, financial, and emotional wellness. With the Aging Mastery Program®, individuals create personal pathways for aging well via actionable goals, sustainable behaviors, peer support, and incentives.

While the Aging Mastery Program® addresses needs of older adults, Age-Friendly Sarasota is a community-wide initiative seeking to build upon our entire community's assets to optimize active, healthy, and engaged living for all Sarasota County residents. Government, businesses, organizations, and people of all ages participate to build a livable community for all generations around the World Health Organization's Eight Domains of Livability. There are more than 600 World Health Organization designated age-friendly cities and communities worldwide.

How can I be involved in Age-Friendly Sarasota?

Please visit for more information about the variety of ways to participate in the initiative. Follow Age-Friendly Sarasota on Facebook and Twitter.

Who can I contact about the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative?

For more information, contact initiative manager Deborah Gauvreau:; strategy advisor, Bob Carter:; or knowledge expert, Dr. Kathy Black:
Leaders from Sarasota County and beyond describe the characteristics of an age-friendly community and the importance of Age-Friendly Sarasota's collaborations
(total time: 1 minute 36 seconds)

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