VICTORIA Helping seniors remain safe, active and independent is garnering honours for 11 communities around British Columbia, Health Minister Terry Lake announced today.
"From barrier-free buildings and streets, to increased opportunities for seniors to participate in community decisions, Age-friendly BC is focused on supporting older British Columbians and ensuring they can continue to contribute their skills, knowledge and experience to their communities," said Lake. "The program engages a variety of stakeholders, from municipalities to business owners, with a goal of ensuring communities are accessible and liveable for seniors and their families."
The District of 100 Mile House, Village of Burns Lake, Town of Golden, Village of Kaslo, City of Langford, Township of Langley, City of Richmond, District of Sooke, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality, City of North Vancouver, and the District of North Vancouver will each receive a letter of congratulations, an Age-friendly BC Recognition award poster and a $1,000 reward to create a legacy project or a celebration.
"I want to congratulate the communities receiving age-friendly recognition," said Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors Darryl Plecas. "Their hard work and leadership are helping seniors stay active and connected to their communities and they are making a difference in the lives of many of B.C.'s older residents and their families."
The Age-friendly BC Recognition program is a partnership between the BC Healthy Communities Society and the Ministry of Health and is part of the Age-friendly BC strategy. To date, 36 B.C. communities have received Age-friendly BC Recognition.
To achieve recognition, four key steps must be taken. These include establishing an age-friendly advisory or steering committee, passing a council or district board resolution, conducting an age-friendly assessment, and developing and publishing an action plan.
While all 11 communities have met these key steps, the type of age-friendly priorities vary by community and range from housing, transportation, pedestrian infrastructure and seniors safety on buses, to senior-specific information and programs, barrier-free design in public spaces and advocacy for low income seniors.
As an example, Sun Peaks Mountain Resort Municipality has committed to making the community age-friendly by supporting seniors and people of all abilities by providing essential amenities to facilitate walking and skiing around the village.
"We are excited to see such commitment and momentum for age-friendly communities in B.C.," said Jodi Mucha, executive director for BC Healthy Communities Society. "Age-friendly planning and activities creates conditions for all people to thrive in the places they live, work, learn and play."
The recognized communities will continue implementing age-friendly plans and projects.
For a complete list of age-friendly recognized communities and to learn more about how communities can receive age-friendly recognition, please visit: www.gov.bc.ca/agefriendly/recognition
photo courtesy picturebc.ca