Ottawa – The Government of Ontario has presented the City of Ottawa with an Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award for its development and implementation of the Older Adult Plan. This is the first year for the Provincial government award, which recognizes communities who have taken steps to make their environments more accessible and age-friendly.
The communities selected to receive this award are ones that have engaged and collaborated with seniors and community partners to develop plans and initiatives that make cities more welcoming and accessible for seniors.
The City’s Older Adult Plan, originally created in 2012 and updated in 2015, contains actions items to address the needs of Ottawa’s older residents and is organized under eight age-friendly areas:
- Outdoor spaces and City buildings
- Transportation and mobility
- Communication and information
- Social, recreational, and cultural participation
- Civic participation and volunteering
- Community supports and health services
- Respect and social inclusion
Since the beginning, the City has worked with the Council on Aging through the Age Friendly Ottawa initiative to ensure that our mutual efforts are coordinated and go further to responding to the needs of seniors.
“Ottawa strives to be known as a city that is respective and inclusive of its older adult population. This recognition shows that we are on the right track towards becoming more accessible and age-friendly. In the next 20 years, the population growth of older adults is expected to double in Ottawa. We will continue to invest in projects like our Older Adult Plan to ensure the city has the infrastructure and programs to support this growing population.”
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson
“It’s an honour to be awarded this designation as it reinforces the great work that the City has done through its Older Adult Plan. Refreshed in 2015, staff in all departments have been involved in projects and initiatives that make Ottawa a safer, more accessible and more welcoming city for everyone. The City values its older adults and their contributions to making Ottawa such a great place to live.”
Councillor Diane Deans, Chair, Community and Protective Services Committee
Key Accomplishments Older Adult Plan 2015-2018
Some of the key accomplishments since 2015 include:
- 13 facilities around the City that are highly frequented by Seniors have been upgraded to include more accessibility features, including 14 power door operators, stair treads and tactile walking surface indicators, handrails, ramps, and assistive listening devices.
- 39 accessible benches have been installed in various locations around the City that have high concentrations of older adults.
- A total of 2,637 curb cuts have been completed to eliminate tripping hazards between sidewalk panels in the city.
- 152 new accessible benches have been installed at 22 different Transitway Stations across Ottawa.
- A review of crossing and signal times at intersections across the city resulted in the adjustment of crossing times at 53 intersections with a high concentration of older adults.
- A total of 81 grit boxes are now located around the city for public use to keep sidewalks safe for walking during the winter.
- Accessible pedestrian signals and countdown timers have been installed at 48 intersections across that City that have high concentrations of older adults.
- Multiple affordable housing projects for seniors have been approved and are currently underway including 131 total units, 12 of which will be accessible.,
- 104 seniors, with and without a disability, have been approved for the Ontario Renovates Program.
- A second edition of the Guide for Programs and Services for Older Adults was developed and is available in five (5) languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic and traditional Chinese.
- A one-page flyer was created and distributed to older adults through the Seniors Roundtable, Ethno-Cultural Seniors’ agencies and centres, Seniors Homes, Long-term Care Homes, among others, to promote and educate older adults on 211, 311 and 911.
- Volunteer opportunities for older adults continue to be advertised on an on-going basis and promotion is a regular part of community relations.
- 795 (205 in French/590 in English) copies of the Mental Health Caregiver Guide were distributed to older adult and caregiver service providers, including Anglophone, Francophone, and bilingual agencies.
- Over 3000 Older Adult Emergency Preparedness kits have been distributed to seniors in the community. Materials are available in six languages; English, French, Somali, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.
- In Ottawa, there are 14 Community Health and Resource Centre locations, in collaboration with Ottawa Public Health, that offer monthly dental visits and services for older adults.
- Seniors’ Month has been celebrated annually in June through senior social events hosted by Councillors, and a flag raising ceremony occurs yearly to celebrate the International Day of Older Persons.
- The Senior of the Year Award is presented annually to an outstanding senior citizen at the Council meeting in June.
- Four Community Arts Projects were initiated and completed and involved the participation of 40 seniors.
- Older Adult appropriate fitness equipment was purchased for 17 locations across the City that are highly frequented by adults
For more information on the Older Adult Plan, you can call 3-1-1 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.