Age- and Dementia-Friendly Program

Fostering healthy aging in our communities now and in the future.

An age-friendly community enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities and treats everyone with respect, regardless of their age.

Age-Friendly Franklin County & North Quabbin

An age-friendly community is a place that makes it easy for older people to stay connected to people that are important to them. And it helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages and provides appropriate support to those who can no longer look after themselves.

LifePath, together with its partner Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is leading an initiative towards helping the North Quabbin and Franklin County become more age- and dementia-friendly.

The age-friendly process

The AARP lays out a three-phase process for becoming age-friendly: commitment, needs assessment and action planning, and implementation.

Phase 1: Commitment

27 of the 30 towns in LifePath’s service area have the designation of being an age-friendly community by the national organization AARP.

Map of Franklin County, Massachusetts, showing Age- and Dementia-Friendly Communities

Phase 2: Needs Assessment & Action Planning

As part of the Age-Friendly project, we undertook a region-wide needs assessment, including a survey and focus groups, to identify what people think about aging in place here in Franklin County and the North Quabbin. The raw data was collected from almost 2,000 surveys and 4 focus groups, and LifePath will continue to work with our partner, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments—a remarkable resource—to produce a results-based overview of the collected data. The goal of the project is to use the data to identify priorities that we can work on as a region, and subregions, and to focus on what we can change in the short term and what needs longer range planning.

Survey Results

Initial results of the Age- and Dementia-Friendly survey results were shared virtually on November 1, 2022. Here are the resources from the event:

In the session, we asked for those interested in volunteering to dive deeper into this data, to become a part of work groups that convened around four areas:

  • Housing and Outdoor Spaces
  • Transportation
  • Communication/Information/Social and Civic Participation
  • Health Services/Community Support

Volunteer-based workgroups were tasked to understand what was being communicated “the loudest.” After 6 weekly sessions of inquiry and discussion, each workgroup came up with a problem statement for their theme, and related supporting statements.

Age-Friendly Community Conversation, June 22, 2023

About 70 individuals came together at Greenfield Community College’s Cohn Family Dining Commons for an in-person conversation and information session about the local Age- and Dementia-Friendly Project. The event kicked off with a resource fair featuring services for older adults, then moved into an overview of the project, sharing the results of the almost 2,000 voices who responded to the age-friendly survey, and interaction around ideas and solutions related to the initiative. To experience the event yourself, view the recording.

From the survey and related content, the problem statements from the workgroups, and feedback collected at the community conversation, members of the steering committee are currently producing the action items for the regional action plan.

Action Plan

After a three-year planning process, LifePath and Franklin Regional Council of Governments (FRCOG) launched the new Age- and Dementia-Friendly Action Plan.

Action plan cover

View the Action Plan

Phase 3: Implementation

Implementation of the action plan involves the work of many stakeholders and may take 3-10 years.


The dementia-friendly project aims to raise awareness about and educate one another about dementia.

Contact us for more information about age- and dementia-friendly or to get involved.


  • June 2023 – Project update, event invite, transportation and education opportunities
  • March 2023 – Workgroups and Action Planning
  • Sept. 2022 – Focus groups and data analysis
  • June 30, 2022, Program Manager Departure
  • April 7, 2022, Survey Update, Public Health Nurse Particiation, Town Enrollment Update
  • September 1, 2021, Needs Assessment and Enrollment Updates
  • June 25, 2021, AARP Designation, Funding Opportunity, and Healthy Aging Spotlight
  • March 23, 2021, AARP Designation, Funding Opportunity, Training Opportunities and Healthy Aging Spotlight

Stories from our blog about age- and dementia-friendly communities:

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