Consultant Anne-Marie Whitaker updates Cumberland council on how ‘age-friendly’ the community is for older adults and seniors. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland aims to be ‘age-friendly’ for seniors

Older residents still make about a sizeable portion of Village population

If Cumberland has young families moving in, there are still many seniors in the community.

At the same meeting as a presentation on local child care demand and resources, council was presented with a report on how to make Cumberland more “age-friendly.”

RELATED STORY: Cumberland council hears message of child care shortage

“Age-friendly planning is really a planning initiative or a framework. It’s directed and focussed on older adults – in other words, 55 years and up and seniors,” said Anne-Marie Whitaker of EcoPlan International, who produced the report.

At the Jan. 13 meeting, she acknowledged the previous presentation about child care and how Cumberland is attracting so many young families, but seniors still make up about a sizeable portion of the population – 29 per cent. The senior population in Canada is expected to grow in the coming years, with seniors making up 23 per cent of the population by 2030.

“We’re only getting older,” she added.

Whitaker outlined for council what is age-friendly, what is moving in the right direction and what needs more attention. She broke down here findings into eight categories, based on ones based on the World Health Organization framework: municipal buildings, parks and streets; transportation; housing; social participation; respect and social inclusion; civic engagement, employment and learning; age-friendly communication and information; and services to meet people’s daily needs, community support and health services. Whitaker also said the provincial and federal governments also have frameworks that were used in the plan.

When it comes to things like public spaces, Cumberland is making progress on new buildings but faces accessibility issues for older structures. The infrastructure for getting around was also an issue.

“Many people here really talked about the streets and sidewalks,” Whitaker said.

The categories that showed the most work needing to be done were transportation, housing, employment and learning, civic engagement and access to services, whether that means things like health care or even having places for groceries. In these cases, older people often have to turn to outside communities, which underscores the need for transportation links. The report makes recommendations around adding more regional transit destinations, developing a housing strategy, create senior-specific forums around civic issues and even explore opportunities for partnerships around services like a seniors’ centre, wellness clinic or drop-in centre.

The categories that showed the most progress for the community were around social participation, respect and social inclusion, and age-friendly communications. As the report states, “Cumberland does particularly well when it comes to the social participation category.” It goes on to say the community considers opportunities for seniors when it comes to participation in recreational, cultural, leisure and other activities.

As far as communications, the report notes the Village provides front desk staff to answer questions and sends out regular news updates. During the discussion, council touched on ideas to make the Village website a little more age-friendly.

The Village received a grant in 2019 to do the report in order to increase awareness of what seniors need for active, healthy and productive lives, as well as look for ideas on how to improve their lives.

While the Village’s financial plan for 2020 does not allocate funds to implement the ideas, a staff report notes a number of projects already planned for this year will support the implementation of some recommendations that EcoPlan International brought to council’s attention.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force planning and engagement underway

Submitted by CVEDS Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) met virtually… Continue reading

IN THE GARDEN: Daisies bring colour to the garden, from spring to fall

Ellen Presley Special to The Record Looking for something simple to make… Continue reading

Comox’s Beach Street Players taking their singing to the street during COVID-19

The Beach Street Players have been itching to get back on stage.… Continue reading

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Vancouver Island photographer plays ‘Hide & Seek’ with great horned owlet

Stuart Clark took this amazing photo of a great horned owlet on… Continue reading

‘This year is unlike any other’: Trudeau delivers Canada day address

Sophie Gregoire Trudeau and the Prime Minister release video celebrating the national holiday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Dual rallies take over Legislature lawn on Canada Day

Resist Canada 153 highlighted colonization and genocide, Unify the People called COVID a hoax

Gov. General honours Canadians for bravery, volunteer service

Five categories of winners presented on Canada Day

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Victoria police investigating possible hate crime on BC Transit bus

A young Black man was randomly struck by a Caucasian man who he did not know

UPDATE: No COVID-19 at Nanaimo shopping centre as memo mixed up mall identities

Woodgrove Centre sent memo to tenants Tuesday advising them of positive case

‘A little bit scary for everybody’: Air passengers wary as new rules take effect

Masks or face coverings have been mandatory on flights since April 20

Most Read