Victoria County at Forefront of Age Friendly Initiatives

Victoria County “Age Friendly” Committee
OUR ROAD MAP – GETTING FROM THERE TO HERE

Victoria County is at the forefront of age friendly initiatives that allow people to stay healthy and their own homes and communities. “Age Friendly” initiatives may deal with transportation, nutrition, health, fitness, community design, and more.

In December 2010, the Victoria County Municipal Council passed a motion “Endorsed the concept of age friendly communities”. This launched the development of a strategy to make the Municipality of Victoria County an “Age-Friendly Community”.

1st – Community Consultations were organized. From this, our Age Friendly Advisory Committee determined aspects of our county that presently met age-friendly requirements and those that did not. This information assisted in setting priorities and creating action plans for making communities as age friendly as possible.

County documents were researched to garner previously identified information that could also be considered an age friendly priority. From the Victoria County Strategic Plan 2009 and (ICSP) Victoria County Integrated Community Sustainability Planning documents a number of priorities were identified including transportation, housing and a need for seniors assistance plan. These priorities aligned with results of the age friendly community consultations and so, became, as our Committee Chairman (Victoria County Deputy Warden) Fraser Patterson says “A good place to get the discussions started”.

The committee assembled is a good mixture of community people – seniors, those with experience in sustainable housing, nutrition, transportation, health and three Victoria County Councilors.

As the committee worked on an Action Plan to address the priorities, it became clear that a plan was needed to get the word out beyond the committee. A Communications Consultant was hired to develop an awareness strategy which identified key messages, one of which is to ensure that an age-friendly lens and way of practice is integrated into ongoing municipal activities, plan and policies.

Victoria County Council has been a champion of incorporating Age Friendly strategies into the community in a variety of ways. This municipal engagement has encouraged Age Friendly in the following ways:
-Passing a Motion “Endorsing the Age Friendly concept”
-Providing regular updates in municipal council meetings ensures Age Friendly is embedded into budget planning, the budget itself and other municipal policies
-Engaging the services of a communications consultant to assist in creating a strategy to engage stakeholders.
-Seeking funding for and issuing a Request for Proposals for a Transit Feasibility Study.

Age Friendly Chairperson
Fraser Patterson, Deputy Warden, Municipality of the County of Victoria
PO Box 1645, Bras d’Or, NS B1Y 3Y6
Phone: 902.674.2703 / Fax: 902.674.0906
E-mail: fraser.patterson@countyvictoria.ns.ca