Age-friendly Campbell River

Campbell River has been successful in its application for a grant that will allow the city to find out whether or not it’s properly looking after its senior citizens.

The $20,000 grant will go towards assessing just how age-friendly the community is.

Coun. Charlie Cornfield said security of the grant will be a boon to the city.

“To me that’s a good news story and I just wanted to make sure that the word got out there,” Cornfield said at Monday’s council meeting. “I’ve had lots of ‘gee they put in age-friendly equipment at Hagel Park (in the regional district’s Area D). What’s the city doing?’”

Ross Milnthorp, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture, said the age-friendly assessment grant will be used to form a steering committee of related stakeholders in the community.

“They will be doing a very thorough assessment of the age-friendly condition of facilities in the city, parks, trails, etcetera,” he said.

“I think this will be well-supported in the community and the eventual goal is to be designated an age-friendly community.”

The committee will include the Campbell River Seniors’ Centre Society, Campbell River Better at Home, Laichwiltach Family Life Society, Willow Point Supportive Living Society, Immigrant Welcome Centre, and the Campbell River Access Awareness Committee.

Mayor Andy Adams said the city is making strides in its effort to ensure no one is excluded from enjoying what the city has to offer.

“We pride ourselves on having an inclusive community, and Campbell River is continually making improvements that can help our residents be more active, engaged and independent,” Adams said in a release. “We look forward to working closely with the Campbell River Age-Friendly Committee to explore new opportunities.”

Brenda Wagman, coordinator of Campbell River Better at Home, agreed.

“This is a wonderful and important opportunity for Campbell River,” Wagman said. “We will be working towards becoming an age-friendly community – recognition that 36 other B.C. communities have already earned.”

The age-friendly assessment work, which under the rules of the grant must be completed within 12 months, will involve surveys and focus groups.

The assessment will explore the following eight features of an age-friendly community:

 

Outdoor spaces and public buildings

Public transportation and accessibility and affordability

Housing affordability, location, security, build and design

Older person social participation in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities

Respect for older persons and inclusion in civic life

Opportunities for employment and volunteerism

Availability of age-friendly communications and information

Community support and health services that meet the needs of older persons