AARP New Hampshire is pleased to welcome Goffstown and Portsmouth as the first members in New Hampshire of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities.

As the first communities in the Granite State to sign on to the network, their civic leaders will have access to global resources and information on age-friendly practices, models of assessment and implementation, and the experiences of towns and cities around the world.

The network helps participating communities become great places for people of all ages by adopting features such as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in civic and community activities.

“Well-designed, livable communities promote wellbeing, sustain economic growth, and make for happier healthier residents of all ages,” said AARP New Hampshire State Director Todd Fahey.  “By becoming part of the network, Goffstown and Portsmouth are making a commitment to do even more to improve livability in their communities and involve older residents in the process.”

The AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities targets improvements in eight domains that influence the health and quality of life for all as we age.  Communities participating in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities commit to improving their livability through an assessment of needs, development of an action plan, implementation of new projects and programs, and ongoing assessment – all with the involvement of older residents.

The eight areas of focus for the age-friendly process are:

  • Outdoor spaces and buildings: Availability of safe and accessible recreational facilities.
  • Transportation: Safe and affordable models of private and public transportation.
  • Housing: Availability of home modification programs for aging in place as well as a range of age-friendly housing options.
  • Social participation: Access to leisure and cultural activities, including opportunities for older residents to socialize and engage with their peers as well as with younger people.
  • Respect and social inclusion: Programs that promote ethnic and cultural diversity as well as multigenerational interaction and dialogue.
  • Civic participation and employment: Paid work and volunteer activities for older residents and opportunities to engage in the formulation of policies relevant to their lives.
  • Communication and information: Access to communications technology and other resources so older residents can connect with their community, friends and family.
  • Community support and health services: Access to home-based care services, health clinics and programs that promote wellness and active aging.

The livability indicators are planned, implemented and progress assessed in three phases over a five-year period, with continued cycles of assessment and improvement thereafter.

Nationwide, 263 communities representing 70 million residents have received the Age-Friendly designation from AARP.  Learn more at aarp.org/agefriendly or aarp.org/livable.