Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
In June 2012 the City of Guelph undertook development on an Older Adult Strategy. This process involved using the World Health Organization age-friendly cities framework.
A project steering committee comprised of older adults, representatives from organizations serving seniors and municipal staff, was formed to help guide the development of the strategy.
A review of documents was conducted. This included resources from the Corporation of the City of Guelph, community organizations, as well as from a number of jurisdictions primarily across North America. Development of the Older Adult Strategy included using the WHO World Café method of facilitated discussions to engage the broader community. Engagement was facilitated through a series of community forums, focus groups, stakeholder interviews, presentations to City Councillors, and a survey available both online and as paper copies.
This process informed the development of the Older Adult Strategy report, and articulated the Goal, Vision, and Guiding Principles for the City as it relates to older adults.
GOAL: Guelph is a great place to live and age well.
VISION: Guelph is an age-friendly community that:
- values and supports older adults
- optimizes opportunity for choice, independence, and quality of life
- celebrates diversity
- is inclusive of all, reducing inequities (is fair and just)
GUIDING PRINCIPLES: The City of Guelph will ensure that all services, policies and programs are designed, delivered and resourced, where feasible, using the following guiding values and principles:
- participation and inclusion of all citizens
- respect and dignity
- active engagement in communication and decision making
- access to a safe living environment
- fairness and equity
- self-determination and choice
In November 2012 City of Guelph Council approved: the Vision, Guiding Values and Principles of the Older Adult Strategy; and directed staff to create a cross-departmental staff team responsible for the development of a corporate action plan based on the Older Adult Strategy to ensure Guelph is age-ready and age-friendly; and directed to report back on the plan, timelines and resource requirements. “
In 2013 work began on implementing recommendations to help Guelph become more age-friendly.
- A Cross Departmental Action team comprised of municipal staff was formed. This will continue to ensure that all policies, programs and services are developed and amended with an age-friendly perspective.
- The Manager of Senior Services has become part of a newly emerged Southern Ontario Age Friendly Networking Community to share information and support the movement
- The City worked with the University of Guelph to create a Community Profile for Guelph. This will create a baseline assessment of the Guelph community to help to create informed, evidence based decisions to move forward with priority setting and implementation plans for creating an age-friendly Guelph community.
In September of 2013 City of Guelph received a grant from the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat. This grant has provided support to develop a Community Older Adult Leadership Team. This team is comprised of older adults, representatives of organizations serving seniors, business representatives, and municipal staff. Development of this team will create natural opportunities for collaborations across the community. The Community Older Adult Leadership Team is helping to set priorities and develop an implementation plan.