Brantford City Council unanimously approved a report presented by staff on the progress of the Healthy Aging: The City of Brantford’s Age-Friendly Strategy 2022-2024 during their regular meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
Knowing that more than one-quarter of Brantford residents will be 65 or older within the next 20 years, the City continues to develop programs and services to ensure that older adults remain engaged and enjoy a high quality of life in the community.
Over the past year, there have been a number of significant accomplishments actioned through the plan, including enhanced accessibility and walkability in the community such as the addition of 16 new audible pedestrian signals and nine pedestrian countdown signals. In 2022, more than 1,600 seniors participated in programming specifically designed for older adults including the Let’s Stay Connected Program, Healthy Aging Passport, Let’s Get Moving, Let’s Stay informed and more. Additional progress has been made including 26 new housing units at 177 Colborne Street West and an additional 147 units currently under construction to be available to older adults to apply for by the end of 2024.
“Brantford continues to make progress towards becoming a more accessible and age-friendly community that provides opportunities for seniors to remain engaged, healthy, and connected. By prioritizing older adults’ health and wellness, we are supporting the many ways in which they contribute to our community’s cultural, social and economic structure,” said Courtney Lebel, Community Development Coordinator for the City of Brantford.
The three-year plan is a continuation of the City’s Age-Friendly Strategy and is based on best practices outlined by the World Health Organization that focus on eight domain areas, including: outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and technology, and community and health services.
The City of Brantford continues to work collaboratively with community partners and senior servicing agencies to support the implementation of the Age-Friendly Strategy. Partners include the Grand River Council on Aging, Brant County Health Unit, Grand River Community Health Centre, Adult Recreation Therapy Centre, Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario, Brant Elder Abuse Awareness Committee, and Brant Skills Centre.
“The Grand River Council on Aging is proud of the commitment the City of Brantford has made to become an “Age-Friendly Community” and be recognized by the World Health Organization. Through consultation with the ‘voices of lived experience’, we are working together to plan a community for all residents from five to 105, and are thereby ‘creating a community for a lifetime,’” said Lucy Marco, Executive Director, Grand River Council on Aging.
In 2023, staff are planning to continue working with community partners to bring more opportunities for older adults to participate and remain active in the community. Some examples include expanding the Healthy Aging Passport and Let’s Get Moving programs, celebrating Financial Literacy Month with more digital learning opportunities and ensuring all City staff participate in Age-Friendly training to enhance City services.
To learn more about the City of Brantford’s age-friendly plan, visit www.Brantford.ca/HealthyLiving.