Kitchener – The Age-Friendly Kitchener Action Plan is ready for consideration, and will be presented to committee later today. Aligning with the recently approved Neighbourhood Strategy recommendations, both processes identified similar themes about how residents define great places and the importance of being connected and belonging in one’s neighbourhood.
The Age-Friendly Kitchener Action Plan was created in collaboration with older adult community members and is the foundation for creating an age-friendly community. This plan contains 17 actions focused around four themes: Accessible and Affordable Housing, Access to Information, Belonging, and Connectedness and Well Being that were identified through the process. A number of these actions align with planned or existing City of Kitchener and community strategies, initiatives and projects.
“The advisory committee helped to create the action plan by getting feedback from almost 1200 older adults in our community,” said Kitchener councillor and Age Friendly Community (AFC) advisory committee member, Bil Ioannidis. ”With collaboration between the city and different organizations, associations, community groups and levels of government, this plan is achievable and will make Kitchener a great place to live for all ages.”
The action plan recommendations include:
Accessible and affordable neighbourhoods
- Age-friendly neighbourhood programs
- Promote the leisure access service
- Age-friendly parks, trails and outdoor spaces
- Sidewalk maintenance and snow clearance
- Transportation training program
Access to information
- Age-friendly communication strategies
- Improve availability and access of information on the City’s website
- Improving technology literacy of older adults
- Inclusive volunteering opportunities
- Community ambassador program within City facilities
- Development of supportive and inclusive programs and activities
- Age-friendly community engagement
- Recognizing the contributions of older adults
- Age-friendly business recognition program
Connectedness and well being
- Block-connector approach
- Neighbourhood links
- Prevention and education workshops
- Coordination of external grant opportunities
Following council approval, staff will transition oversight of this project from the AFC advisory committee to the Mayor’s Advisory Council for Kitchener Seniors (MACKS). A comprehensive implementation plan will be outlined that will address the actions in the plan and will guide the work over the next five years. To ensure accountability, an annual community report card will be developed as it relates to the progress of the action plan.
Interested residents can learn more about each of the recommendations, by viewing the full report at www.kitchener.ca/AFC.
In 2015, the City of Kitchener was successful in securing a grant from the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat’s Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant program. Funding was awarded to support the implementation of a community planning process and the development of an action plan with the vision of creating an Age-Friendly Kitchener. Since 2015, with the guidance of an age-friendly community advisory committee, staff engaged with the community to highlight Kitchener’s age-friendly assets to determine opportunities for further improvements. As a result of this engagement, the action plan was developed to ensure Kitchener will be responsive to the needs and interests of an aging community
This project has been funded by the Government of Ontario.