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Tompkins County Age Friendly Center for Excellence


In 2015, Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca were welcomed into the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities, an initiative of the World Health Organization intended to help municipalities prepare for rapid population aging.

The Tompkins County Office for the Aging is partnering with the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, Cornell University, local human service organizations and municipalities on the Age Friendly initiative. Tompkins County is home to more than 16,000 people age 60 and over, and that number will increase dramatically over the next two decades.

The global Age Friendly network helps participating communities become great places for all ages by adopting such features as safe, walkable streets; better housing and transportation options; access to key services; and opportunities for residents to participate in community activities.

If you are interested in learning more or becoming involved in Age Friendly Ithaca/Tompkins County, contact the Office for the Aging at 274-5482.


Left to right:

  • Bill Armbruster (AARP Associate State Director)
  • Esther Greenhouse (Environmental Gerontologist)
  • Lisa Holmes (Director, Tompkins County Office for the Aging)
  • Rhoda Meador (Director, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute)
  • Mike Lane (Tompkins County Legislator)


In 2014, the Tompkins County Office for the Aging (COFA) led efforts to apply to participate in the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities. COFA initiated this effort as a direct result of stakeholder input and recommendations made during numerous consensus workshops that were held to develop the 2015 Strategic Plan for Aging in Tompkins County. Founding members of an initial steering committee that included Lisa Holmes and Lisa Monroe, Tompkins County Office for the Aging; Environmental Gerontologist, Esther Greenhouse; Teri Reinemann, Lynn Gitlow, and Rhoda Meador, Ithaca College, convened to start the formal application process. Tompkins County and the City of Ithaca were accepted into AARP’s Network of Age Friendly Communities in May, 2015.

In November, 2019 Tompkins County was one of 3 counties in the State awarded a grant from the Health Foundation of Western and Central New York to support the development of an Age Friendly Center for Excellence.  This initiative is designed to help communities and local governments incorporate healthy, age-friendly principles into relevant policies and programs.  The Office for the Aging is collaborating with several community organizations to continue implementing age friendly initiatives.  These organizations include the Finger Lakes Independence Center, Human Services Coalition of Tompkins County, Ithaca College Gerontology Institute, Ithaca College, Cornell University, Wonderful Wheelchairs, and Esther Greenhouse, an expert in universal design and aging in place.  

Tompkins County Age Friendly Center for Excellence Workshop Series & Resources


New Updated 2022 Action Plan

New Updated Age Friendly Implementation Timeline

Age Friendly Ithaca and Tompkins County Action Plan

Age Friendly Implementation Timeline

Universal Design: Housing for the Lifespan- workshop, June 19, 2018

What does Age Friendly mean to you?-Video from 2017 Streets Alive


National Resources

International Resources