Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative
Questions and Answers About the Manitoba Age-Friendly Communities Initiative
What is an age-friendly community?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an age-friendly community is one that supports people to age safely, enjoy good health and continue to participate fully in their community.
What are features of an age-friendly community?
The Public Health Agency of Canada’s On the Road to Age-Friendly Communities says age-friendly communities have
- pleasant, secure and physically accessible outdoor spaces and public buildings
- well designed, affordable and secure housing choices
- well-maintained and accessible roads and walkways
- affordable and accessible public transportation
- secure neighbourhoods
- respectful relationships
- supportive health and community services
- opportunities to be socially active
- opportunities to participate in suitable volunteer, civic and employment positions
- information that is easy to access and understand
An age-friendly community is good for residents of all ages!
What is the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative (AFMI)?
The Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat (Department of Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs) is working with communities to make Manitoba the most age-friendly province in Canada.
How can communities become involved?
The Minister of Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities invite rural municipalities, towns, villages, local government districts and cities to join the Initiative.
When a local government accepts the invitation, community representatives attend an orientation day hosted by the Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat.
Rural municipalities, towns and villages receive $2000 and cities receive $5000 to help establish an Age-Friendly community committee, do a community consultation and assessment process and develop an action plan.
How are Age-Friendly Communities recognized for their efforts?
To be recognized by the WHO, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), and the Province of Manitoba, communities must achieve five Milestones.
For more detailed information, visit the Milestones web page.
- Community Engagement Milestone—establish an Age-Friendly Committee that includes active engagement of older adults
- Municipal Council Resolution Milestone—secure a local municipal council resolution to actively support, promote and work toward becoming age-friendly
- Action Plan Milestone—establish a robust and concrete plan of action that includes a community consultation developed with older adults
- Public Awareness Milestone—demonstrate commitment to action by publicly posting the action plan
- Measuring Outcomes Milestone—commit to measuring activities and reporting publicly on action plan outcomes
Who should be on a community’s Age-Friendly Committee?
An ideal committee has a broad representation from the community, including older adults, representatives of senior organizations and service providers, businesses, recreation, health organizations, youth, and others as appropriate. Representation from the local government is also important.
How should an Age-Friendly Committee be structured?
Communities should develop a structure that is appropriate for their unique needs. Models that have been successful include the following:
- a standing committee of Council including a councillor as a committee member, who may or may not chair the committee (this seems to be the most successful model);
- an advisory committee of Council that reports to Council regularly to advise Council on age-friendly initiatives;
- an independent committee that may advocate to Council on the communities age-friendly issues;
- a coalition of representatives of community organizations that are concerned with age-friendly issues.
What should be included in a Council Resolution?
The Council resolution should state the local government’s commitment to supporting the age-friendly initiative in the community. It should also outline how the council will be involved and could include the community committee structure.
How can communities get help to assess their strengths and needs?
The Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative Resource Team can facilitate a community consultation process. Community residents are asked for their opinions about the age-friendly features of the community and what needs to be changed and improved. A printed report is returned to the community. This report identifies the community priorities and can be used as the basis for an action plan.
How can communities contact the Resource Team?
Phone: 1 800-665-6565
What other services are available?
- print resources on the web site
- web site links to other age-friendly communities
What other organizations are involved with the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative?
The following organizations are partners in the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative:
- Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba Age-Friendly Communities
Community-University Research Alliance (CURA)
- Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat–Manitoba Healthy Living, Seniors and Consumer Affairs
- Association of Manitoba Municipalities
- Manitoba Chambers of Commerce
- Manitoba Association of Senior Centres (MASC)
- Age & Opportunity
- La Federation des Aines Franco Manitobains (FAFM)
- Aboriginal Seniors Resource Centre (ASRC)
- Creative Retirement Manitoba
- Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre
- Active Living Coalition of Older Adults in Manitoba (ALCOA)
- Transportation Options Network for Seniors in Manitoba (TONS)
- Long Term & Continuing Care Association of Manitoba (LTCAM)
The Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat can also connect communities with other government departments that may help with community initiatives.
The Resource Team is also available to consult with communities as they move through the Milestone process.