age-friendly festival
Age-Friendly Sarasota

MAY 2015 – JANUARY 2023

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 1,400 member cities and communities in over 50 countries worldwide, benefiting more than 300 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

The Patterson Foundation strengthened 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 connected to the 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.

Sarasota County Health and Human Services, in collaboration with the Sarasota Department of Health, will continue to lead Age-Friendly Sarasota based on the connections catalyzed by The Patterson Foundation, which concluded its engagement in the initiative in 2023.


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

Why did The Patterson Foundation support Age-Friendly Sarasota?

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 connected 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. The Patterson Foundation provided consulting and communications support to Age-Friendly Sarasota from its inception until sunsetting its engagement in January 2023.

Currently, Age-Friendly Sarasota is being advanced locally by the Sarasota County Government. In addition to Sarasota County Government’s leadership, 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 is the value of Age-Friendly Sarasota 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.

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 in building a livable community for all generations around the World Health Organization's Eight Domains of Livability.

How can I be involved in Age-Friendly Sarasota?

Please visit for more information about the variety of ways to participate.

Who can I contact about the Age-Friendly Sarasota?

Please send Age-Friendly Sarasota inquiries to Sarasota County Government's Aging System Policy Coordinator Susan Berger:
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)

Blog Posts

  • posted on January 31, 2023
  • posted on January 05, 2023
  • posted on June 15, 2022
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