Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Institute for Public Health and Medicine

Evaluation of Chicago as an Age-Friendly City

The first phase in a multi-phase study to conduct an independent evaluation of the city's age-friendliness for the World Health Organization.

March 18, 2013

The Buehler Center is beginning an exciting project focused locally, in partnership with the City of Chicago. As part of the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities program, the Buehler Center is ready to conduct an independent evaluation of Chicago's age-friendliness; that is, an investigation into the assets and gaps in service of our city to its elderly. In keeping with the Center's person-centered research approach, we will emphasize listening to our city's older adults and representatives from key age-related institutions and organizations throughout our evaluation. In this way, we will not only capture the clearest picture of our city's strengths and challenges, but also identify strong community leaders and innovative programs that are capable of driving continuous improvement in age-friendliness.

To capture the full experience of Chicago's population 65 and over, the first stage of this evaluation will involve hosting focus groups with the city's older citizens, surfacing both their positive experiences as well as their unmet needs. Our proposal to the City of Chicago is written in our tradition of rigorous sampling methodology and will ensure that we convene focus groups that represent Chicago's full diversity. We are excited to recruit from and host these groups in neighborhoods throughout the Chicago metropolitan area and have provisions to provide translators for our Spanish-speaking older citizens. After capturing this rich information as our first phase, we will move on to in-depth interviews with identified community leaders and key stakeholders and organizations. Ultimately, we are planning a comprehensive report to the city that includes an analysis of current age-friendliness, specific recommendations for improvement, as well as a list of engaged innovators and leaders to help achieve greater success in serving our older Chicagoans.

Center:Buehler Center on Aging

Funder: City of Chicago

Principal Investigator:
Rebecca Johnson, PhD

Amy R Eisenstein, PhD
June McKoy, MD/JD/MBA