For the past several years, San Diego has been transforming itself into a region where all residents have greater opportunities to be healthy, safe and thriving.

Live Well San Diego, the County’s flagship collective impact strategy, has earned nationwide attention for its broad scope and the extensive network of community partners that have eagerly stepped up to join us.

Together with nonprofit organizations, businesses, schools, the faith community and numerous other groups, we are working to address the root causes of illness and have brought about impressive health and quality of life gains. It is extremely gratifying to know that by working together, fewer of our neighbors will suffer from premature debilitation or death from heart disease or stroke.

We should also take great satisfaction that many of our youngest residents are spending more time each day involved in active play, both inside and outside of school. These are but a few of our many accomplishments.

How Do We Age Well in San Diego?

Now, we are proud to be looking at Live Well through an age-friendly lens.

We are asking ourselves, what does it look like to Age Well in San Diego? How can we better support people as they enter their later years so that they may continue to engage fully and live with dignity across the entire life course?

In recognition of the incredible value we place on the older adults in our community, the County has committed to joining the Age-Friendly Community network through AARP and the World Health Organization. This commitment requires an extensive five-year process of assessing needs, implementing new programs and improvements, and ultimately connecting with other forward-thinking communities to learn from one another.

Generous support from The San Diego Foundation is helping to make this ambitious project a reality. But what exactly is an Age-Friendly Community?

Nick Maccione at Age Friendly Communities event

Nick Macchione (right) speaks to an attendee at a recent Future40 event on age friendly communities.

According to the World Health Organization, the entity that has helped nurture the concept, an Age-Friendly community is one in which programs, services and the built environment enable people to age actively and be included in all areas of community life.

There is sensitivity to the vast diversity in terms of resources and functionality among older people. Communities seeking to become part of the Age-Friendly network are asked to consider eight different “domains of livability” which include categories such as housing, civic engagement opportunities, respect/inclusion and social participation, as they explore ways in which to make their region more amenable to older adults.

Ultimately, together we decide what an Age-Friendly San Diego looks like—and together we work to achieve that vision.

Aging Summit: Age Well San Diego

Join us for the kick-off of our Age-Friendly journey at the Aging Summit: Age Well San Diego conference on Wednesday, June 15 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Town & Country Convention Center. There is also a satellite site in North County at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. To register, visit: or call AARP at (877) 926-8300.

At the Summit, you’ll hear much more about the elements that make a community livable for all ages and abilities. You’ll also learn about many exciting local efforts to address housing and transportation needs as well as work being done to serve those with dementia and their caregivers through The Alzheimer’s Project.

As a special treat, keynote speaker Dick Van Dyke will be sharing wisdom from his new book Keep Moving: And Other Tips and Truths About Aging.

I invite you to join us–at the Summit and beyond—as we take the Live Well San Diego vision to new heights.

Together, we will make San Diego a place where all can live, work, play, and… Age Well.

Learn More

About Nick Macchione, F.A.C.H.E.

Nick MacchioneAs Director of the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency, Nick Macchione manages one of the largest health and human services networks in the nation, supporting the public health, safety, and well-being of the over 3.2 million residents of San Diego County. Under Mr. Macchione’s leadership, in 2010 the Health and Human Services Agency and the rest of County government embarked on a bold and ambitious ten-year, county-wide wellness initiative known as Live Well San Diego. This groundbreaking initiative is being implemented throughout the region to build better health, encourage safer living, and promote economic vitality for all San Diego County residents.