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 800 member cities and communities in 40 countries benefiting more than 228 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.
The community 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.
This research was then combined with the data collection of existing community assets by domain to create a roadmap — the 2017–2020 Age-Friendly Sarasota County Action Plan — for next steps.
The Implementation Phase started June 1, 2017 and runs through May 31, 2020. The work focuses on community sector contributions to the goals, objectives, and strategies identified in the Age-Friendly Sarasota County Action Plan.
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, The Patterson Foundation, and University of South Florida — 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, 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.
Age-Friendly Sarasota promotes healthy and active living for its residents across several interconnected domains, including 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 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.