What is an age-friendly community?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an age-friendly community is one that supports people to age safely, enjoy good health and participate fully in their community.
What is the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative?
The Age-friendly Manitoba initiative is a province-wide effort to address social and environmental factors that contribute to older adults being able to live safely and actively in the community. The benefits of an age-friendly community are felt by all citizens.
What is happening?
Communities are assessing their current age-friendliness and forming broad-based committees to address issues with support from the Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat and local governments. They are looking at their infrastructures, buildings and open spaces, housing, transportation and health and social services. They are examining how well their organizations include older adults. They are then working with service providers and community organizations to make necessary changes. The goal of the Initiative is to make Manitoba the most age-friendly province in Canada.
Since 2008, 85 local governments have signed on to the Initiative. Communities are encouraged to achieve Age-Friendly Milestones to be recognized as an Age-Friendly Community by the WHO, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Province of Manitoba. These Milestones include having a local government resolution that endorses and supports the age-friendly initiative and a committee that creates and publicizes a plan of action based on community consultation. The community then monitors and evaluates progress in improving age-friendliness.
In addition to WHO and PHAC other key partners in the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative include: the Centre on Aging (University of Manitoba), the Manitoba Association of Senior Centres, the Association of Manitoba Municipalities and the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. These partnerships are essential to creating age-friendly communities.
For more information: To learn how to join the initiative, or to contact the Age-Friendly Resource Team call the Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat at 1-800-665-6565 or go to the website at www.agefriendlymanitoba.ca. For information on age-friendly activity at the local level, contact the local municipal office.