This study seeks to develop Age-Friendly University (AFU) implementation guidelines to enable universities to self-identify their age-friendliness levels and establish specific strategies toward becoming an AFU. The survey was completed by primary leads for 26 AFUs-recognized institutions globally. The questionnaires included an inventory of 68 possible attributes of an AFU. The respondents were asked to (a) report the status of their institution in terms of performance on the attributes and (b) state the relative desirability of each attribute as a potential guideline for assessing the performance of AFU attributes. For institution’s performance, ‘Social engagement and support’ had the highest (3.32) age-friendliness level, followed by an ‘Age-friendly environment’ (3.31), ‘Administrative support’ (3.15), Lifelong learning’ (3.11), and ‘Reflecting the needs of older people’ (2.83). Furthermore, the overall score was highest in Canada (3.82), followed by Europe (3.51), the USA (3.14), and Asia (2.67). Among attributes, ‘There are elevators in major buildings (that older adults use frequently)’ was the highest (4.40); followed by ‘The campus and surrounding environment in our school are clean for older adults to use’ (4.28). We also asked participants about “the adequacy of the AFU as a guideline. ‘Members of our university’s community are respectful and friendly toward older adults’ was the highest (4.43).” However, in this study, 8 attributes scored less than 3 points for appropriateness. Consequently, we condensed the instrument to 60 attributes. This study is novel in proposing guidelines to implement strategies to apply and operationalize the somewhat abstract concept of age-friendliness of universities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geriatrics and Gerontology