Vital Communities Toolkit


Vital Communities are known by many names including “communities for all ages,” “age friendly communities,” anc “communities for a lifetime.” The Vital Communities Toolkit helps build the capacity of individuals to act as civic leaders and create vital communities where people of all ages are actively engaged. Free online tools include the Vital Communities Assessment that has been used by older adult residents and leaders in many communities to rate current community assets needed to support vital aging, and then use the responses to influence community planning.

DEVELOPED BY:  Vital Aging Network (VAN)

WEBSITE: (see right column, home page)


VAN initiated the Vital Communities Toolkit for the Summit on Vital Aging in Vital Communities held in Minnesota, USA in 2004. The Atlantic Philanthropies has provided funding to continuously revise and enhance the toolkit based on user feedback and information about best practices elsewhere.


VAN promotes self-determination, civic engagement, and a high quality of life through education and advocacy for and with older adults. The Vital Communities Toolkit shows how leaders in every community can create a shared vision to support vital aging. How can vital communities support the vital involvement of their residents, lifelong? What do older adults need and want to find in their communities? Toolkit resources inform broad participation in community planning that supports vital aging.


People of all generations interested in working together as advocacy leaders to create vital communities with the right balance between meeting individual needs and achieving the common good.


Using the resources in the Vital Communities Toolkit, older adults have stimulated community changes that help them meet their basic needs, support their community involvement, and improve their quality of life. In the process, they have been shaping the public perception of older adults as vital resources for addressing community needs.


COSTS/FUNDING:  No costs associated with use of online materials.

PROMOTION:  Viral networking (one-on-one)

POLICIES FOR REPLICATING:  Open source replication

Please complete our online Program User Form if you are interested in trying out this program and need more information. You will be contacted shortly by a member of the Pass It On Network team after you submit the completed form.