age-friendly festival
Age-Friendly Sarasota


Age-Friendly Sarasota

The Purpose

Age-Friendly Sarasota is a county-wide 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, Age-Friendly Sarasota is amplifying and bringing enhancements to the community that aligns 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 1,333 member cities and communities in 47 countries worldwide benefiting more than 298 million people. Sarasota was the first community in Florida 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 Age-Friendly Sarasota 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. It 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.


8 31 20 Florida Safe SurveyThe Patterson Foundation, which has collaborated previously with the Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA) on the Age-Friendly Sarasota, is strengthening its efforts to drive participation in the Florida Safe Survey by connecting residents in its home region of Charlotte, DeSoto, Manatee, and Sarasota counties with the survey and its resources. The Florida Safe Survey is an online survey that allows residents, especially older adults, to make important self-assessments on their COVID-19 behaviors through the DOEA. The Florida Safe Survey is powered by CV19 CheckUp, a hyper-personalized online tool developed by BellAge, Inc.


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, people, and the media focused on these aspirations to create a community where all ages can live well.

Who is working on Age-Friendly Sarasota?

Since 2015, Age-Friendly Sarasota has been a partnership between local, state, national, and international entities contributing expertise and resources to evolve age-friendly concepts and community features in Sarasota County and beyond.

Currently, Age-Friendly Sarasota is being advanced locally by the Sarasota County Government. The Patterson Foundation provides consulting and communications support to Age-Friendly Sarasota. Along with Sarasota County Government’s leadership and The Patterson Foundation’s support, many organizations are collaboratively engaged to create pathways to achieve a better future for all residents.

In October 2021, Sarasota County became the first in the nation to achieve designation as an Age-Friendly Community, Age-Friendly Health Care System (Sarasota Memorial), and Age-Friendly Public Health System.

What are the next steps for Age-Friendly Sarasota?

The community's age-friendly movement is well underway. AFS initially completed a two-year assessment of Sarasota County's age-friendly assets (May 2015 – May 2017). The assessment explored aspirations of Sarasota County's residents as they relate to the World Health Organization's 8 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 County 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 the two-year assessment and data collection of existing community assets.

The Implementation Phase started June 1, 2017, and ran through May 31, 2020. The work focused on community sector contributions to the goals, objectives, and strategies identified in the Age-Friendly Sarasota County Action Plan.

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, please 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?

Besides having a unique geographic beauty, for people ages 0–100+, Sarasota County also has a unique demographic beauty — a rare population mix that is one-third under 35 and one-third over 65.

Through learning and sharing opportunities with Sarasota County 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 for all ages.

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 effort 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 1,114 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:
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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