University Of Tasmania

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Contextualising age-friendly communities: Moving beyond the World Health Organization

conference contribution
posted on 2023-07-04, 00:19 authored by Peta CookPeta Cook

Urbanisation and population ageing are two international trends creating social transformation. While Australia is smaller in size than most developed countries and is sparsely populated, most people in Australia reside in urban
areas with 79% of total population growth occurring in capital cities during 2017-2018 (Australian Bureau of Statistics 2019). Such urbanisation results in urban sprawl and land clearing, which places pressure on the quantity and
quality of natural and semi-natural environments. This is accompanied with demographic shifts, with approximately 15% of the total Australian population (3.8 million people) aged 65 years of age or over in 2017; a significant increase from 9% in 1977 (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018).
Age-friendly communities are viewed as a mechanism to accommodate this growing proportion of older adults within urban environments. Age-friendly communities are empowering and supportive urban environments that
foster inclusion, social participation, and ageing-in-place. To assist with the task of creating and supporting age-friendly communities, the World Health Organization (2007) has developed eight domains that encapsulate the features
of an age-friendly community, as well as toolkits and checklists to assist communities to plan, identify, and assess their age-friendliness. However, in this presentation, I will explore how relying on these domains, checklists and
toolkits is too simplistic when considering context, including the dynamic and evolving nature of our communities. By drawing on my community-based research in the City of Clarence (a local government area in Tasmania,
Australia), I will demonstrate the myriad of social and geographical factors that influence age-friendliness and the importance of, and how to develop, context-specific age friendly models. This will demonstrate the importance of
working in and with community members, and with awareness of the urban environment when recommending, designing, and implementing age-friendly initiatives and agendas.





International Sociological Association

Publication status

  • Published

Event title

XX ISA World Congress of Sociology

Event Venue

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne

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