Upcoming age-friendly community event invites public to attend

·2 min read

The public is invited to the partnership of the Midland Seniors Council and the North Simcoe Ontario Health Team, who are hosting two speakers for virtual presentations on October 14 which will help participants develop a North Simcoe age-friendly plan.

“This is an exciting event for municipalities, partners, organizations, stakeholders and volunteers in the age-friendly space,” said Midland councillor Cher Cunningham. “What may not be as readily apparent is that age-friendly is not just about seniors. In fact, some of the intergenerational initiatives happening in other areas are key to inclusive and respectful communities.”

For the first presentation, an overview of age-friendly community planning, implementation, evaluation and sustaining processes will be provided by Lisa Brancaccio, knowledge broker for the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care in Kingston. Also included in the presentation will be lessons learned from other communities, as well as a snapshot of age-friendly community development in Ontario.

In the second presentation, Dominic Ventresca, leadership council co-chair of Age Friendly Niagara Network (AFNN), will be discussing the development of his organization to provide an overview of its structure, future goals and how the AFNN is responding during the pandemic.

“Rural seniors have similar and additional challenges as access to information, services, programming and support is harder to learn about, harder to access and not as available,” said Cunningham.

“There are many amazing services and resources available in our region,” added Cunningham, “such as Tiny's technology program, Midland's Seniors on the Move transit program, Red Cross phone program, Chigamik and Askennonia programming and so much more. These all need to be promoted more clearly.”

Participants to the online Zoom event will have the opportunity to take part in developing the North Simcoe Age Friendly plan, aimed at allowing seniors to experience a high quality-of-life in their later years through generated strategies and actions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) identifies eight key foundations of community life which can assist age-friendliness: outdoor spaces and buildings; transportation; housing; respect and social inclusion; civic participation and employment; communication and information; community support and health services; and social participation.

“Currently we have over 30 people registered to attend and hope to create solid ideas for implementation during the breakout sessions, and interest from individuals interested in being part of a working group to move this forward in partnership with our new North Simcoe Ontario Health Team,” Cunningham added.

Registration for the free event will continue until October 12. Details and registration can be found on the Event Brite website.

Derek Howard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, MidlandToday.ca

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