Municipal Leaders Guide to Age & Dementia Friendly Communities Produced by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Here to help.

You will want to bookmark this page. This quick reference resource guide is a companion to the Age-Friendly Communities issue of the Municipal Advocate which featured a number of articles highlighting the efforts of communities throughout Massachusetts working to become more Age- and Dementia Friendly.

Beyond the resources linked here, there is an entire team available to help your community become more Age- and Dementia Friendly, along with a growing number of cities and towns to learn from.

  • You can contact James Fuccione, the executive director of the MA Healthy Aging Collaborative, or Antron Watson, age-friendly director for AARP Massachusetts for any Age-Friendly questions that you may have.
  • Patty Sullivan, program director for Dementia Friendly MA at the Massachusetts Councils on Aging, and Pam MacLeod, dementia program director for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, can provide guidance on making communities more dementia friendly.
  • Kathryn Downes, director of policy for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, is a great contact for questions about state-level activities, such as the Governor's Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts, or the Commonwealth's Age-Friendly State Action Plan.

Not sure who to contact? Reach out to any of these individuals and they'll either get you the answer you're looking for, or connect you to the right person who can.

From L to R: Pam MacLeod, Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Antron Watson, AARP Massachusetts, Patty Sullivan, Dementia Friendly MA, James Fuccione, MA Healthy Aging Collaborative, and Amanda Bernardo, Executive Office of Elder Affairs.


Assessment Data

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Data Report: Funded by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and produced by UMass Boston’s Gerontology Institute is designed to help residents, state and local governments and others understand the older adults who live in their communities. The most recent update of the report was released in December 2018, and it includes profiles for each city and town in Massachusetts. The report includes 179 indicators of individual and community health, along with comparative data for communities to see how they rank in various areas.


AARP Community Challenge Grants: The AARP Community Challenge grant program is pare of the organization’s Livable Communities initiative and is designed to help communities make immediate improvements and jump-start age- and dementia-friendly progress. The 2019 grants will provide funding for “quick action” projects related to housing, transportation, smart cities and public spaces.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Momentum Fund: Momentum Fund grants support early-stage initiatives and innovative efforts in communities pursuing or advancing age- and/or dementia-friendly efforts.

The Community Compact Best Practices Program: The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Community Compact Program promotes collaboration between municipal and state government on various projects. One of the areas is Age and Dementia Friendly Best Practices. The program offers municipalities a mechanism to leverage state funding on this area of shared interest.

Planning and Guidance

MMA Best Practices on Age- and Dementia-Friendly Community Commitments: This recommended best practice was developed issued in January 2018 by the MMA’s Policy Committee on Municipal and Regional Administration provides context on why and how communities should approach Age- and Dementia-Friendly efforts in their cities and towns.

The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative (MHAC) is a network of leaders in community health and wellness, government, advocacy, research, business, education, and philanthropy who have come together to advance healthy aging.

AARP Livable Communities supports the efforts of neighborhoods, towns, cities and rural areas to be great places for people of all ages.

Dementia Friendly Massachusetts is an initiative of the Massachusetts Councils on Aging. The state-wide, grassroots movement is comprised of organizations, individuals, and municipalities growing dementia friendly communities. These municipalities of all sizes will become more inclusive and supportive of those living with dementia, their families, and care partners.

The Age-Friendly Massachusetts Action Plan serves as the state’s multiyear plan to make the Commonwealth, as a whole, more age- and dementia-friendly. It sets forth a mission and vision and includes a comprehensive set of values, goals, and strategies advancing Massachusetts’ efforts to become an age-friendly state.

The Massachusetts Age- & Dementia Friendly Integration Toolkit was developed to simplify your community’s work to meet the needs of residents as they age. It brings together resources from the national and global age-friendly and dementia friendly movements and directs users to guidance, examples, and case studies.