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 1,333 member cities and communities in 47 countries benefiting more than 298 million people worldwide, 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.
In 2019 Sarasota County Government, with full support from the Board of County Commissioners, accepted responsibility for advancing the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative. The 11-member Seniors Advisory Council accepted responsibility as the reviewing council.
Age-Friendly Sarasota completed its first five-year cycle in 2020. The Age-Friendly Five Year Progress Report highlighted our communities’ accomplishments across the 8 domains of livability:ic Participation and Employment, Communication and Information, Community Supports and Health Services, Housing, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Respect and Social Inclusion, Social Participation, and Transportation.
Throughout 2019–2020, the community was once again engaged in the planning and assessment process through focus groups and surveys. From this work, 20 areas of focus were identified; goals, objectives, and strategies were defined; and the action plan was developed. Several key areas had considerable crossover with the Department of Health’s Community Health Improvement Plan.
AARP approved the 2022–2025 Age-Friendly Sarasota Action plan in January 2022.
Since 2015, the Age-Friendly Sarasota initiative has been a partnership between local, state, national, and international entities contributing their 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 Sarasota County Government and The Patterson Foundation — working in collaboration to engage the community as it creates pathways towards a more livable future for all residents.
Besides having a unique geographic beauty, 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.
Age-Friendly Sarasota promotes healthy and active living for its residents and aspires to support the work of a broad range of entities to develop a more livable community including those organizations serving older people.
Please visit the Connect & Learn tab in the top menu of this page for more information about a variety of ways to participate in this initiative, including joining the AFS conversation on Facebook and Twitter, requesting a speaker, and signing up for the AFS newsletter.
You can also get involved in the age-friendly movement by reviewing the Age-Friendly Sarasota County Action Plan and providing your feedback. Be sure to share with us how you or your Sarasota County organization or business is making the community more age-friendly.