Sarasota: Where Aging Is Friendly


Residents and prospective home buyers in 55+ communities in Sarasota, such as LakeRidge Falls and Cascades, can tick off another weighty factor affirming the wisdom of their residential choice.

Early in May 2015, various groups from the public and private sectors joined hands in launching the “Age-Friendly Sarasota.” This initiative seeks to build a lifelong community through sustained efforts to develop a more livable environment which is critically important especially for senior citizens seeking Sarasota homes for sale.

This new program takes off from Sarasota’s recent membership in a network set up by the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish global age-friendly cities and communities. This WHO project started in 2010 and now counts in its fold some 250 cities and communities in 28 countries worldwide. Over 50 communities in the U.S. have joined this network, with Sarasota County earning the distinction of being the first in Florida to do so.

Domains of Livability

Sarasota: Where Aging Is Friendly

Sarasota’s drive for a more age-friendly environment shall focus on promoting healthy, active, and happy lifestyles for residents of all ages. This will be pursued by addressing the interconnected eight Domains of Livability as outlined by the WHO. Included in this age-friendly template are respect and social inclusion, social participation, support and health services, civic participation and employment, outdoor spaces and buildings, communication and information, transportation, and community housing.

Planning and research have been set for the next two years in order to come up with concrete steps to foster an age-friendly local environment. Residents age 50 and above can provide inputs to such measures which will certainly add to the marketability of Sarasota homes for sale, particularly to seniors or retirees.

Community inputs

A six-month survey among age 50+ respondents has been launched through the project’s website ( to gather usable data in order to fully grasp Sarasota’s livability attributes and potential areas for growth. After the research, an action plan will be implemented.

To acquaint residents on principles and practices of an age friendly community, a series of community-learning events is scheduled to start this summer. The resource persons will include experts on the WHO’s Domains of Livability.

Valuable insights can likewise be derived from some of the best practices on age-friendly communities in several countries have been identified recently. For the domain on community housing, the U.S. has earned its mark through the city of Portland, Oregon, whose planning process has adopted age-friendly concepts. Among the city’s priority is creating accessible housing conveniently close to hubs where amenities, such as transportation, make it easier for seniors to live independently.

Significantly, Sarasota is already strong on this aspect, with many of its age 55+ residential developments like Cascades and LakeRidge Falls already with lots of features for independent living and active lifestyle. Cascades, for instance, is a maintenance-free community with low quarterly fee to cover such in-house amenities as a swimming pool, tennis and bocce ball courts, and a fitness center. Sarasota homes for sale here are priced in the $300s and the $200s, and enjoy close proximity to the newly opened Mall at University Town Center.