I am pleased to report that this past summer was a busy and productive time for age-friendly initiatives in Niagara.

Most notably, the Niagara Age-Friendly Community Network’s project, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, continued with its work plan towards preparing a Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan. Specifically, the project’s coordinator, David Sheridan, has facilitated three planning teams of seniors and service providers based on the functional needs of older adults who are “well and fit”, who need “some assistance with daily living” and who require “significant assistance with activities of daily living”. He has also conducted focus groups with over 200 seniors in 14 locations across Niagara, a provider survey and numerous interviews with key informants to obtain insights into the needs of older adults and on possible future directions.

The summer’s efforts were capped off with a Community Forum with over 100 Niagara residents gathering at the Welland Community Wellness Complex on September 11th to provide input into the Aging Strategy for Niagara. Seniors, service providers and other stakeholders representing government, businesses and not-for-profit agencies provided ideas on ways to better respond to the needs of seniors in housing, transportation, health care, social and recreational services and other dimensions of seniors’ lives. After the project’s participants review the draft report and recommendations, a final report will be produced in February. The report will have recommendations on each of the identified priority areas and proposed implementation measures. The report is intended to guide government and not-for-profit agencies and businesses serving seniors on how to better meet their needs and ultimately on how to make Niagara a more age-friendly community.

In addition, local initiatives continued to develop in various communities across Niagara. For example, in Pelham the Town Council approved the formation and appointed community members to the Pelham Seniors’ Advisory Committee. Also, the Welland Seniors Citizens Advisory Committee participated in the development of a Day Hospice in Welland and the purchase of IPods for residents with dementia to reconnect and reminisce with their favourite music as a therapeutic activity.

Please let us know what is happening in your community related to age-friendly activities by sending an email to agefriendly@niagararegion.ca. We could possibly feature your news in a future Network newsletter.

Dominic Ventresca
Co-chair Niagara Age-Friendly Community Network


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