As the population of the City of Edmonton has grown so has the number older adults in Edmonton. This trend is likely to continue as the baby boomer generation quickly approaches the age when health and mobility issues can begin to become an issue. Age Friendly Edmonton is an initiative to improve the quality of life for Edmonton residents in their senior years.
An action plan "Vision for Age Friendly Edmonton" has been established using the the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Global Age-Friendly Cities Guide to ensure that our city is shaped to be inclusive to the needs of our aging population. In late 2010 Edmonton was officially accepted as a member of the WHO Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities.
The Action Plan has been created a a result of extensive community consultation with seniors, their care givers, and other key stakeholders. Endorsed by Edmonton City Council, the purpose of the action plan is to ensure that Edmonton is a community that respects, values and actively supports the well-being of its senior population. The plan encompasses 18 overall goals that identify gaps, needs and recommended actions for nine key areas. Housing is one of the nine focus areas.
- Community Support Services
- Health Services
- Communication and Information
- Social and Recreational Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Civic Participation, Volunteerism and Employment
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
Two of the guiding principles and beliefs of the plan speak directly to the goals of Home for Life.
Seniors have the right to choose where and how they live as long as they don’t pose a risk to others
Seniors have the right to feel safe in their homes and communities
One in three Edmontonians will be age 55 plus by 2041.Within the senior population, the most dramatic growth is expected to happen in the over 80 age group, with projections of a 266% increase in this group while the number of seniors ages 55-64 is expected to increase by as much as 104% during this same time frame.
The Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council and City of Edmonton are co-leading the implementation plans. A five year workplan has been developed and approved by Edmonton's City Council, ongoing funding has been approved and over ninety stakeholder groups are working to support this important initiative.
For more information on Age Friendly Edmonton, projects and resources, visit www.edmonton.ca/agefriendly.