An age-friendly community is one where older adults can enjoy good health, community support and feel a sense of security as they engage and participate in the community. Making places more age-friendly not only improves quality of life for seniors, it also creates a more inclusive, safe and accessible community for everyone.
In 2011, 33% of the Town of Creston’s population was 65 years and older, up slightly from the 2006 census data of 31% and much higher than the 2011 provincial figure of 16%. This statistic emphasizes the importance of making Creston an age-friendly valley and community, and is at the heart of Town Council’s desire to ensure that older adults are active participants in community life and municipal planning initiatives.
To this end, this demographic was engaged in applying an age-friendly lens to the development of the Creston’s vision for the future, articulated through Cultivating Creston, the town’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). This plan establishes the long-term vision and strategic direction for the town and extends out into the valley. Further, engagement to identify and refine age-friendly actions for implementation was also undertaken.
Age-friendly engagement opportunities included: a visioning workshop to integrate seniors’ perspectives into the Cultivating Creston vision: focus groups to ensure greater clarify regarding seniors’ issues in Creston; a workshop to identify potential actions to make Creston more age-friendly; and a follow-up meeting with seniors and service providers to refine the recommended actions.
Creston’s age-friendly engagement process provided an opportunity for senior service providers to come together for the first time in a facilitated session to plan coordinated actions to address seniors’ needs. Senior service providers discussed synergies and synchronicities; identifying actions for implementation that will fill the gaps and use limited resources more efficiently and effectively.
The resulting Creston age-friendly Action Plan is guided by the age-friendly Desired Outcome Statements (DOS) from Cultivating Creston and is framed by the eight age-friendly themes developed by The World Health Organization (WHO).
If you are interested in learning more about the age-friendly planning contact Shannon Gordon at 604.906.0310 or sgordon[at]whistlercentre.ca