Everyone Benefits From Age-Friendly Cities

Quebec – Quebec is investing $2.8 million over five years to pilot efforts to make seven communities age-friendly. This includes $470,000 for research on the pilots which will be conducted at the Research Centre on Aging at the University of Sherbrooke. http://www.mfa.gouv.qc.ca/aines/strategie-action/ville-amie_des_aines.asp

Nova Scotia – Halifax was one of the original participants in the WHO project. In 2008 the provincial government made special funds available for projects that embody age-friendliness and take a locally-driven and “bottom up” approach to age-friendliness. http://www.gov.ns.ca/scs/agefriendlyComm.asp

Newfoundland and Labrador – NL’s Healthy Aging Policy Framework preceded the Age friendly Communities initiative but embraces many of the same principles and desired outcomes. Late in 2008 the government launched an ad campaign intended to create positive images of aging and recognizing the contribution of seniors in Newfoundland and Labrador. http://www.health.gov.nl.ca/health/hlthaging/ha_policy_framework.pdf

Alberta, Saskatchewan, NB, PEI, Territories – These provinces are exploring the issue and holding provincial forums. Contact the individual Seniors’ Ministries to find out more.

For information on what is happening in communities in Canada and around the world, visit the website of the International Federation of Aging www.agefriendlycommunities.comat and the Public Health Agency of Canada http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca

Eight Essential Features of an Age-Friendly Community
1. Outdoor spaces and public buildings that are pleasant, clean, secure and physically accessible.
2. Public transportation that is accessible and affordable.
3. Housing that is affordable, appropriately located, well built, well designed and secure.
4. Opportunities for social participation in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities with people of all ages and cultures.
5. Older people are treated with respect and are included in civic life.
6. Opportunities for employment and volunteerism that cater to older persons’ interests and abilities.
7. Age-friendly communication and information available.
8. Community support and health tailored to older persons’ needs.
Source: Union of BC Municipalities http://www.seniorsincommunities.ca/age-friendly/

Keywords: seniors, plans