The Centre recently completed age-friendly action plans with three communities in the Lower Columbia: Rossland, Montrose and Trail. Not only did the assessment and planning process lead to prioritized actions to make each community more livable for seniors, it also brought seniors’ stakeholders together and led to actions where region-wide solutions are needed, particularly related to transportation, health services and housing.
The list below provides a few examples of the region-wide actions that were recommended through the planning process and that are supported by each of the three communities:
- Support regional efforts to increase the number of units of seniors’ housing through an attainable regional housing plan, coordination of housing providers, and strategic access to funding.
- Explore opportunities to enhance the use of excess capacity within current transportation operators (private and public) and apply a subsidy program to enable access for low-income community members.
- Address gaps in home repair, maintenance and other support services by establishing a Better at Home program in the Lower Columbia to enable seniors to stay in their homes longer.
The age-friendly process relied on the knowledge, experiences and expertise of local and regional stakeholders. Opportunities for input included community events, online questionnaires and a task force comprised of residents, seniors’ service providers and municipal staff and Council representatives from each community. The projects were funded through the UBCM Age-Friendly Communities grant program, which is typically confirmed in September for the next calendar year.
UPDATE: Unions of BC Municipalities (UBCM) just announced the 2019 Age-Friendly Communities Program Grants. Applications are due November 2, 2018.