Committed To Becoming More Age-Friendly
St. Thomas Canada
With funding from the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, in 2017, Elgin St. Thomas Public Health hired an external consultant to conduct a comprehensive age friendly needs assessment. A multi-sectoral steering committee was formed and included representatives from planning, social services, public health and other service providers. The needs assessment was guided by this steering committee and included a variety of different activities such as online and print surveys, key informant interviews and focus groups with seniors. Feedback was obtained from over 600 community residents, caregivers and stakeholders and identified the current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the current system of programs, policies and services. A community forum was held and community members were invited to contribute their thoughts to the conversation on how to build an age friendly community. This feedback was synthesized and used to develop the Elgin St. Thomas Age Friendly Community Plan. The plan was presented to all local municipal councils for information and endorsement. Since then, the steering committee has transitioned into an Advisory Committee with additional community representatives to provide guidance and oversight on the implementation of the plan over time. Public Health will be working with the Advisory Committee to develop indicators and measure progress made. We will also work with other community planning tables to focus on specific priorities such as transportation and affordable housing. We will attempt to seize funding opportunities to enable implementation of recommended actions and investigate the feasibility of bringing an established social isolation program titled Lonely No More to Elgin and Oxford Counties.