Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative
Creating a more Age-Friendly Community
In an age-friendly community, policies, programs and services are designed to make it easier for older adults to stay active and healthy, so they can continue to contribute economically and socially. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) developed and released its Age-Friendly Cities model in 2007, communities across Canada and globally have developed action plans to become more age-friendly, recognizing that every effort benefits citizens of all ages.
Manitoba has been at the forefront of this movement, with over 80 Manitoba communities now involved with the Age-Friendly Communities Initiative. The WHO, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Province of Manitoba have developed Age-Friendly Community Milestones to provide a guide for community action planning and a basis on which communities can be recognized for their age-friendly community efforts and in turn, be recognized by the PHAC and the WHO.
Adopting the milestone approach to action
As the Province of Manitoba continues to invite local governments to join the Age-Friendly Communities Initiative, it encourages communities to adopt the Milestone approach to support and sustain their efforts. Achievement of the Milestones is also required to be formally recognized as an Age-Friendly Manitoba Community.
Download the milestones document (PDF)
Community engagement milestone
Establish an Age-Friendly Committee that includes active engagement of older adults.
- Creating a committee is an effective way to engage local government, businesses, service providers (e.g. health professionals, seniors organizations, police, clergy, youth organizations) and other interested citizens in developing a vision and an action plan for a more age-friendly community.
- Active participation and leadership of older residents ensures their needs and interests are reflected—and who better to help guide the process than those who have contributed so much to the development of the community. An intergenerational committee also recognizes that an age-friendly community benefits residents of all ages.
Municipal council resolution milestone
Secure a local municipal council resolution to actively support, promote and work toward becoming age-friendly.
- Local government is a key player in providing information, resources and support to community development initiatives. A council resolution signifies that it recognizes the value of an age-friendly community, actively embraces the concept and is committed to including age-friendly planning in its ongoing agenda.
- Creating a more age-friendly community requires the effort and resources of the entire community. The local government cannot go it alone. The interest, resources and ability of the Age-Friendly Committee and organizations will be central to success.
Action plan milestone
Establish a robust and concrete plan of action that includes a community consultation developed with older adults.
- Both the physical and social environments are considered in creating an age-friendly community. An action plan can focus on a few or on all eight age-friendly community domains: outdoor spaces and buildings; public transportation; housing; opportunities for participation in leisure, social, cultural and spiritual activities; respect and inclusion in civic life; opportunities for employment and volunteer activity; communication; and community supports and health services.
- A community consultation process is the basis for an action plan that addresses concerns and priorities of community residents.
- The action plan milestone is an ongoing process of considering actions, setting priorities and mobilizing resources. As outcomes are assessed and accomplishments “checked off”, action plans can be updated and revitalized.
Public awareness milestone
Demonstrate commitment to action by publicly posting the action plan.
- The action plan reflects the priorities the community identifies to help create a more age-friendly community. Posting the plan where all residents can see it, increases awareness of efforts and may mobilize additional community resources.
- There are various ways to “go public”: the local government’s web site, a summary report in the local paper, and on the individual community’s section of the Age-Friendly Manitoba Communities Web site.
Measuring outcomes milestone
Commit to measuring activities and reporting publicly on action plan outcomes.
- Regular public reporting helps track efforts and keeps focus on the intended outcomes. These reports tell the community about successes and positive differences in the community. This can lead to greater community participation and mobilization of new resources to support future efforts.