Age-Friendly Communities

In partnership with Del Mar Healthcare Inc., The San Diego Foundation launched the Age-Friendly Communities Program (AFC) in 2015 to address the region’s shifting demography and create more livable environments for people of all ages.

According to the California Master Plan for Aging, 10 years from now, 1 in 4 Californians will be older adults. The state will be home to 10.8 million people age 60 and older, twice as many as in 2010. Locally, based on San Diego County Health and Human Services estimates, the number of people 60 and over will increase by 91 percent by 2050 compared to 2012.

In close partnership with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the World Health Organization’s national affiliate, the Age-Friendly Communities Program works directly with stakeholders and local governments to promote programs and systems-level changes that create more livable environments for residents of all ages and abilities. Employing the World Health Organization’s framework for Age-friendly Cities, the Age-Friendly Communities program recognizes that sustained change is most effective when values are embedded in regional, state and federal policies.

in grantmaking to improve the lives of older adults
municipalities adopted age-friendly action plans
grants to nonprofits and municipalities

The Age-Friendly Communities Program addresses the various needs of older adults, such as:



Outdoor spaces and buildings

Community support and health services

Respect and social inclusion

Communication and information

Social participation

Civic participation and enjoyment

Policy & Network Building

The San Diego Foundation is committed to growing the adoption of age-friendly action plans by local municipalities throughout the region. Through support provided by The San Diego Foundation and the Del Mar Healthcare Fund at The San Diego Foundation, the Age-Friendly Communities Program has collaborated with municipal partners to adopt Age-Friendly Action Plans.

Regional partners include:

The County of San Diego formalized its commitment to age-friendly principles through the adoption of the Age Well San Diego age- and dementia-friendly action plan in May 2018. The City of Chula Vista showcased its vision and long-term commitment as an Age-Friendly City with its community-informed Healthy Chula Vista Age-friendly Action Plan. La Mesa also released its own community-informed plan, Livable La Mesa. Additionally, development of action plans is underway for the cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, and National City.

Our Impact

  • Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s call for the development of a California Master Plan for Aging Initiative, The San Diego Foundation joined the SCAN Foundation and six other nonprofit partners in contributing to a $1.5 million grant fund. Through this fund, these partners have assisted the state with Master Plan development by providing research, communications and data development.
  • Through the support of the Age Friendly Communities initiative, six municipal partners have initiated or completed Age-Friendly Action Plans that prioritize older adults in municipal practice and policy. This process engaged community stakeholders through listening and action planning sessions, ensuring local community members inform and shape the solutions.

The Age-Friendly Communities program is made possible by the generous support of donors. The initiative was launched in partnership with Del Mar Healthcare, Inc. and is made possible through the support of the Del Mar Healthcare Fund. Contributions from The Diane Johnson fund have enabled expanded support for older adult-serving organizations and efforts across the San Diego region.

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