Age Friendly Community
The City of North Bay, in association with its community partner, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit, has retained MMM Group Limited, a WSP company, to assist the City with the preparation of an Age-Friendly Community Action Plan. An age-friendly action plan sets out a road map 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 generally focus on the following eight dimensions of city living, identifying gaps and opportunities for improvement in each one:
- Outdoor spaces and buildings
- Social Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Civic Participation and Employment
- Communication and Information
- Community Support and Health Services
This project is funded by the Government of Ontario.
You can complete the survey electronically by using the following link: https://www.research.net/r/NorthBayAgeFriendlySurvey . Please feel free to forward on this link to other community members you feel would like to complete the survey.
What is an age-friendly city?
The concept of an age-friendly city was identified by the World Health Organization (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 cities to evaluate their age-friendliness across the eight domains of city life listed above, and to use the results to create improvement plans.
The WHO defines an age-friendly city 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.
Who will benefit from this Action Plan?
The opportunities for improvement listed throughout the final Action Plan are meant to be used by City officials and community partners alike. Stakeholders and decision-makers within city 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-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.
What will the Age-Friendly Action Plan look like?
The plan will include an introduction to the eight dimensions of age-friendly cities, a review of North Bay’s changing demographics and existing municipal policies, an assessment of the City’s age-friendly strengths and opportunities for improvement, and recommendations for action.
The plan will also include an implementation matrix that will identify:
- Action Items
- Targeted Group
- Responsibility (e.g. City Department)
- Funding Source
- Implementation Indicator (i.e. monitoring mechanism)
What is the planning process?
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 December 2015 and is taking a bottom-up approach to developing the plan. An Age-Friendly Community Coordinating Committee was established shortly afterwards to guide and review the project as it progresses. The Age-Friendly Committee includes representatives from the City of North Bay, health and social services organizations, seniors’ organizations and friendship centres, and the community at large. A Visioning Workshop with the Age-Friendly Committee, facilitated by MMM Group, took place on March 10, 2016 and helped lay the foundation for the Plan.
I’m interested! How do I get involved and participate?
We want to hear from you! There will be numerous opportunities for public engagement, including:
- A community-wide survey to be launched in March 2016, which will be accessible online and in paper format;
- A Seniors’ Expo on June 11, 2016;
- An opportunity for public review of the draft plan in September 2016; and
- A presentation to Council for adoption in October 2016.
To learn about these opportunities, watch for notices on this website, as well as newspaper and radio ads, posters, and other notices in your community.
Who can I contact if I have questions?
Please contact Bryan Kimber, Community Development Facilitator, at 704-474-0400 ext. 2321 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments, concerns or suggestions.