Determining Issues


Kate Kalvach,

Many of the partners and members of the Charter for Compassion have worked together to develop the Issue tool below. The List of Issues below includes 21 topics with related questions that any community may use to reflect on and discuss. The questions will be helpful in making an initial evaluation and identifying issues that may be addressed through compassionate action. The list and the questions may not be exhaustive, but we hope that they will give you a good place to begin.

Determining Issues will help you to:

discover the community’s strengths—which can be celebrated and serve as a foundation for further building a Compassionate Community

  • discover the “discomforts and fears”--those challenges and issues that bring pain and suffering to individuals or groups in the community
  • assist in designing the big picture in your community so your initiative can focus on the most significant issues for compassionate action

By exploring this tool you may find new or related issues to your original thinking. Let your experiences and heart be your guide as you explore the issues.

Age Friendliness


In 2006, the world health organization (WHO) developed a Global Age-Friendly Cities Project. This project brought together cities from around the world that were interested in supporting healthy aging by becoming more age-friendly. These cities gathered information from seniors, senior care providers and other groups and individuals with an interest in age-friendly communities. This information helped to identify eight key areas of community life in which communities can become more age friendly.

The information below about age-friendly cities is adapted from a publication of the World Health Organization: Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide, 2007

For more detailed information about each of the categories included in this outline, please refer to the guide, which includes specific suggestions for creating age-friendly environments under each of the topics.

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

  • Pleasant and clean environment
  • Importance of green spaces
  • Somewhere to rest
  • Age-friendly pavements
  • Safe pedestrian crossings
  • Accessibility
  • A secure environment
  • Walkways and cycle paths
  • Age-friendly buildings


  • Availability
  • Affordability
  • Reliability and frequency
  • Travel destinations
  • Age-friendly vehicles
  • Specialized services for older people
  • Priority seating and passenger courtesy
  • Transport drivers
  • Safety and comfort
  • Transport stops and stations
  • Taxis
  • Community Transport
  • Information
  • Driving conditions
  • Courtesy towards older drivers
  • Parking

big age friendly city areas

  • Housing
    • Affordability
    • Essential services
    • Design
    • Modifications
    • Maintenance
    • Access to Services
    • Community and family connections
    • Housing options
    • Living environment

    Social Participation

    • Accessible opportunities
    • Affordable activities
    • Range of opportunities
    • Awareness of activities and events
    • Encouraging participation and addressing isolation
    • Integrating generations, cultures and communities

    Respect and Social Inclusion

    • Respectful and disrespectful behavior
    • Ageism and ignorance
    • Intergenerational interactions and public education
    • Place within the community
    • Helpfulness of the community
    • Place in the family
    • Economic exclusion
    • Civic Participation and Employment
    • Volunteering options for older people
    • Better employment options and more opportunities
    • Flexibility to accommodate older workers and volunteers
    • Encouraging civic participation
    • Training
    • Entrepreneurial opportunities
    • Valuing older peoples’ contributions

    Communication and Information

    • Widespread distribution
    • The right information at the right time
    • Will someone speak to me?
    • Age-friendly formats and design
    • Information technology:  boon and bane
    • Personal and collective responsibility

    Community Support and Health Services

    • Accessible care
    • A wider range of health services
    • Ageing well services
    • Home care
    • Residential facilities for people unable to live at home
    • A network of community services
    • Volunteers wanted
    • Other issues
© 2023 Charter for Compassion. All rights reserved.