AEH Retirement Living creates communities, not just homes; communities which are age-friendly and promote healthy, active, independent living. As we create and improve our communities, we look to the world’s best practices and research to inform our own work.

In 2007, the World Health Organisation published a document called “Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide”, which has extended into the WHO Age-Friendly Environments Programme. (Click on the link to read the full document.)

Thirty-three cities from around the world participated in the programme that drew together seniors, care givers, services providers and others with an interest in age-friendly communities. The project formed eight key areas of community life where communities can become more age-friendly. These areas are: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; community support and health services.

A fundamental idea to the WHO programme is that “active ageing” is the model to guide the transformation of age-friendly communities and cities. They define active ageing as “the process of optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age.” Importantly the WHO work stresses that this is not just about elderly-friendly places, since the promotion of age-friendly cities promotes benefits across the whole community – for example “all families experience less stress when their older members have the community support and health services they need.”

You may find it interesting to read more about the WHO programme. The philosophy is consistent with the way we view the formation of our retirement communities, as our residents and our villages are integral parts of bigger communities – locally, national and ultimately globally. All eight of those areas above have relevance and importance in the way we think about Sugar Valley and its community.