Age-friendly Communities

Recent presentation on the Northern Ireland AfC Network at our Scottish Network Group Meeting can be found below:


The presentations for the two SOPA seminars in March 2024 on Age-friendly Communities in Scotland are now available for download.

Developing Age-friendly Communities (AfCs) in Rural Areas in Scotland Presentation Pack

Developing Resources fo Age-friendly Communities (AfCs) in Scotland at Local Level Presentation Pack

The Scottish Older People’s Assembly (SOPA) has secured funding to develop Age-friendly Communities across Scotland. SOPA is leading on this work to stimulate local and national action to achieve better outcomes for people in and approaching later life, using the World Health Organisation (WHO) Age-friendly Communities Framework.

With an increasing proportion of the Scottish population over 65 years of age, this is an ideal time to focus on supporting healthy and active later lives. SOPA is keen to work with national and local partners and to learn
from other parts of the United Kingdom to pioneer this agenda across Scotland.

You can find a short briefing paper HERE which provides some background on AfCs and the up-to-date picture in Scotland.

What is an Age-friendly Community?

An Age-friendly Community is somewhere where local people come together to make life better for the people who live there, particularly as they age. These places make it possible for people to continue to stay living in their homes, participate in the activities that they value, and contribute to their communities, for as long as possible. Being Age-friendly means designing services and facilities with older people, not for them.

The Age-friendly Communities Framework was developed by the World Health Organisation, in consultation with older people. It is built on the evidence of what supports healthy and active ageing in a place. 

How it works

The WHO Age-friendly Communities Framework identifies eight essential features of an Age-friendly Community, illustrated below, with older people clearly at the centre.                  Source: Centre for Ageing Better 

In these communities, older residents help to shape the place where they live. This involves local groups, councils, businesses and residents all working together to identify and make changes in both the physical and social environments, for example transport, outdoor spaces, volunteering and employment, leisure and community services.

Scottish and UK Network

SOPA is an affiliate of the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities which is a growing movement with over 80
member places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. SOPA is working in partnership
with the Centre for Ageing Better to support communities in Scotland to become more age-friendly and to support places in Scotland to join the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities to improve the lives of older people within their communities.

Let's Make Scotland More Age-friendly

The purpose of the Age-friendly Communities programme of work is to connect places that share our ambition
of more people enjoying a good later life. Becoming an Age-friendly Community means you will be part of a growing movement, sharing expertise from the UK and across the world. Let’s get Scotland on the map in this the United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing!

For further information on any aspect of Age-friendly work or joining this growing movement please use the 'contact us' page to get in touch.


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SOPA is grateful for funding received from the Scottish Government, National Lottery Awards for All and Tudor Trust.
Tudor Trust
Scottish Government
National Lottery
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