COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Dayle Hughson, a member of the Age-Friendly Brandon committee, talks with a Brandonite about how the city can help create an “age-friendly” community during a public meeting on Thursday afternoon.
If you’re a senior citizen living in the Wheat City, Age-Friendly Brandon wants to hear from you.
Community consultations are being held over the next five weeks to get feedback from people aged 50 and up on what policies, programs and services would make it easier for older adults in the community to stay active and healthy.
"We have a survey that we’re going to be handing out and what we’re looking at is to get people’s opinion on how well the City of Brandon is doing in eight areas," said Dayle Hughson, member of the Age-Friendly Brandon committee.
The survey focuses on outdoor space/buildings, transportation, housing, respect/social inclusion, social participation, communication/information, civic participation/employment opportunities and community support/health services.
The initiative was developed by fourth year nursing students John Dempster and Cass Chisholm.
Dempster said the vision of the project is to create communities that "value and support the contributions of older people, celebrate diversity, refute ageism, reduce inequities and provide Age-Friendly environments and opportunities for healthy choices that enhance independence and quality of life for seniors living in the community."
Since the World Health Organization developed the Age-Friendly model in 2007, cities across Canada have been working with seniors to develop plans to enhance communities.
Some examples of what cities have done to become more age-friendly include improving sidewalks, walking trails and curbs; adding benches, installing automatic doors and ramps to increase accessibility, establishing more handicap parking spaces and adding crosswalks.
The first public consultation was held Thursday at Riverheights Terrace.
Joyce Reid attended and said one thing Brandon needs to improve on is providing affordable senior housing.
Once all consultations are completed, a report will be drawn up with recommendations for the City of Brandon’s Operational Services Division .
The consultations take place Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. at Seniors for Seniors, Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m. at Prairie Oasis, Nov.1 at 7 p.m. at Park Community Centre, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. at Grand Valley Church and Nov. 15 at 3 p.m. at Victoria Landing. A presentation will also be made at the Riverview Ward meeting on Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at the East End Community Centre.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition October 12, 2012