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Have you heard about the world wide movement to ensure our Towns and Cities are “age-friendly”? What does that really mean?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided information and research that helps communities assess their own progress in this regard and build upon its assets.
Age-Friendly Communities understand that a community that treats its older residents with respect will be a community that respects everyone regardless of their age.
In order to better understand the needs of older adults, the WHO and its community partners have used categories of assets and needs. These categories are: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings; Transportation; Housing; Respect and Social Inclusion; Social participation; Communication and Information; Civic Participation and Employment; Community Support and Health Services.
We invited all residents over 55 (and / or carers for someone who is) to take part in our community consultation. This was done through focus groups, interviews and, online and hard-copy surveys. In addition to the residents we also consulted with community groups, agencies and, other professionals from housing, health, lifelong learning, seniors advocacy and internal partners.
In addition to this, there was a community inventory done for seniors and older adult services. This document will be available in early fall.
It is a recognized fact that we are an aging population. Not only that but we are living longer and healthier lives, with travel, lifelong learning and, community participation all being integral to the wellbeing of our longer lifespans. Town of Devon Council wanted to look at Devon through the eyes of their 55+ population; those who are nearing retirement, those who already are and those who have been for quite some time. It is a priority to see and understand what makes them proud to be a Devonian, why they are here, what services they use, what concerns there may be and what they may be looking for to help them stay in Devon.
This is not intended to be a plan of action, rather it will provide opportunities to see what we are doing well, what could be improved, what can realistically / potentially be undertaken and how this could be done within the framework of our growing town.
Thank you to the 158 people who participated in the older adults needs assessment process, your input has been invaluable. The information on the PDFs below is directly from all of the consultations. It was clear when the information was being collated that there were some priority areas that came up time and again. These items have been compiled into five subjects: communication, health, housing, outdoors and buildings and, transportation. There is a sixth board that has captured much of the more general information.
The final report has 38 recommendations and over 80 action items to be considered for action over a four year period. The document will be reviewed annually and, where possible, will be included in future planning for Devon.
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