May 16, 2018 1:36 pm

Saskatchewan launches age-friendly community recognition program

Saskatchewan has launched the Age-Friendly Communities initiative to recognize communities that accommodate seniors well.

Supplied by Sundre West Country Centre

Saskatchewan has introduced an age-friendly community recognition program to recognize communities that initiate senior-inclusive activities or programming.

“Seniors are an active, vital group in Saskatchewan,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said. “The Age-Friendly Communities initiative promotes healthy, accessible, and inclusive communities. The Ministry of Health is pleased to participate by providing formal recognition of the work done in these areas.”

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According to a news release issued by the government, the program is being offered in partnership with the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism (SSM), a non-profit volunteer organization that brings together seniors’ groups across the province and advocates for a better quality of life for Saskatchewan’s older adults.

“Age-Friendly Communities, part of a global initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO), involves older adults and others assessing their communities to make them better places for all people to live and thrive,” SSM Executive Director Holly Schick said.

“The WHO sets out milestones which are used to assess communities’ progress toward becoming age-friendly. Achieving these milestones makes them eligible for recognition, but age-friendly is an ongoing journey. The fédération des aînés fransaskois is working with SSM to bring this initiative to francophone communities.”

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The news release went on to say that an Age-Friendly Community understands and meets the age-related needs of seniors, protects vulnerable seniors and recognize the importance of including older adults in all areas of community life.

Additionally, the government has provided some examples of an Age-Friendly Community that is designed to allow all residents to live safely, enjoy good health and to stay involved in the community, which could include:

  • Sidewalks that are well-lit and kept in good shape;
  • accessible services;
  • buildings with automatic door openers and elevators; and
  • seniors taking part in all sorts of community activities, such as arts and cultural activities, taking courses, or volunteering for charities or civic duties.
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During each fall Legislative session, a plaque will be presented to successful communities who will receive public recognition for their age-friendly status.

The government confirmed that applications for the Age-Friendly Community Recognition Program will be accepted by the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism, and will begin in June.

For more information on the Age-Friendly Community Program, you can visit the Saskatchewan Seniors Mechanism website or the Age-Friendly Saskatchewan website.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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