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Media release November 8, 2016: Frontenac Seniors Expo in Sydenham and Sharbot Lake this month
The County of Frontenac has retained MMM Group Limited, a WSP consulting company, to assist the County with the preparation of an Age-Friendly Community Action Plan. This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.
An age-friendly action plan sets out a framework for a community to improve its age-friendliness and ensure all residents can remain active members of the community at every stage of life.
Age-friendly action plans focus on the following eight dimensions, which are established by the World Health Organization (WHO) of community living, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement in each one:
Q. What is an age-friendly municipality?
Q. Who will benefit from this Action Plan?
Q. What will the Age-Friendly Action Plan look like?
Q. What is the planning process?
Q. I'm interested! How do I get involved and participate?
Q. Who can I contact if I have questions?
A. The concept of an age-friendly municipality was identified by the WHO, in response to data indicating that the proportion of the global population aged 60 or older is expected to double from 11% in 2006 to 22% by 2050. As people age and their needs change, communities must also change in order to remain desirable places to live.
The WHO has published a document entitled Global Age-friendly Cities: A Guide (WHO, 2007), which presents barriers and opportunities in daily living identified by older adult focus groups across 33 cities in 22 countries. In addition to the guide, the WHO has created a Checklist of Essential Features of Age-friendly Cities. The checklist is meant to be used by municipalities to evaluate their age-friendliness across the eight domains of daily life listed above, and to use the results to create improvement plans.
The WHO defines an age-friendly municipality as one that encourages active aging by optimizing opportunities for health, participation and security, in order to enhance quality of life as people age (WHO, 2007). What that means is that all older people, regardless of ability, need or capacity, should not only be included in all aspects of community life, but be recognized for the valuable contribution they make.
A. The opportunities for improvement listed throughout the final Action Plan are meant to be used by County officials, lower-tier municipalities within the County, and community partners alike. Stakeholders and decision-makers within County and lower-tier municipal administration and within various departments may use the Action Plan to help inform their decisions. Additionally, community agencies, businesses and groups may use it to make age-friendly improvements to their work. Non-for-profit groups may use it as support for grant applications. Members of the general public may use it to engage in age-friendly grassroots endeavours.
A. The plan will include an introduction to the eight dimensions of age-friendly cities; a review of Frontenac's changing demographics and existing municipal policies, an assessment of the County's age-friendly strengths and opportunities for improvement, and recommendations for action.
The plan will also include an implementation matrix that will identify:
The plan will be developed in two phases based on the 4 steps of the Ontario Seniors Secretariat's Age-Friendly Communities (AFC) process:
1. Define Principles
3. Develop Action Plan
2. Assess Needs
4. Implement & Evaluate
The project started in August 2016 and is taking a bottom-up approach to developing the plan. An Age-Friendly Committee was established shortly afterwards to guide and review the project as it progresses. The Age-Friendly Committee includes representatives from County staff, and from the County's Community Development Advisory Committee (CDAC). A Visioning Workshop with the Age-Friendly Committee, facilitated by MMM Group, occurred on October 4, 2016, and resulted in a Draft Vision Statement and Draft Goals. The Committee also provided input into the Community Dimensions and identified strengths and opportunities for improvement.
We want to hear from you! There will be numerous opportunities for public engagement, including: