Seniors now account for 18% of BC’s population, and for some small BC communities the proportion is closer to 30%.
And while the definition of ‘senior’ seems to be changing and up for debate, one thing is for sure: we’re all aging. And baby boomers – the largest demographic group in Canada, with birthdates between 1946 and 1965 – are now well into this process, with the first of them into their 70s.
Baby boomers will look to their families and financial institutions for support, retirement and estate solutions, and increasingly they will look more broadly to their communities to make it easier and more enjoyable to age in place.
Aging in place requires an age-friendly community, 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.
With planning funding available from UBCM since 2009, more than 142 local governments have completed age-friendly projects, many of them following the eight age-friendly themes developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).
We have assisted 5 communities with age-friendly planning, including Creston, Sparwood, Rossland, Trail and Montrose. In these communities, we engaged community leaders, stakeholders and partner organizations in the planning process to create a shared vision of the desired future and then the most strategic priorities and actions to get there. Not only did our processes result in an age-friendly assessment and action plan, but the key service providers for seniors become better connected and coordinated to address seniors’ needs well into the future. Read more about our work with Creston, BC.