Nelson CARES Annual Report
April 1st, 2015 to March 31st, 2016
Age Friendly Community Initiative
Initiative Coordinator: Corrine Younie
West Kootenay Seniors Transportation Coordinator: Dana Burgess
An Age Friendly Community is one that is an inclusive and accessible environment that allows people to realize their potential for physical, social, and mental well-being throughout the life course and to participate in society, while providing them with adequate protection, security and care when they need it.
World Health Organization
Nelson CARES’ Age Friendly Community (AFC) Initiative is a community collaboration founded in 2012 to strengthen the community’s capacity to meet the diverse needs of a growing seniors’ population. Phase I of the Initiative wrapped up in June of 2015, with four pilot projects having been developed to address priority issues including transportation, service coordination, and isolation among rural seniors. A second three-year phase launched in July 2015.
The largest undertaking of the AFC Initiative has been the Moving Together project. With funding from diverse sources including Vancouver Foundation, CBT and the West Kootenay Transit Committee (RDCK), this three-year project will operationalize the most promising recommendations from the Phase II Action Plan and develop a program to help individual seniors with their transportation challenges.
In January 2016 saw the launch of the Moving Together project’s West Kootenay Seniors Transportation Coordinator and grand opening of a new storefront location for the Age Friendly Community Initiative and its projects, including the transportation coordinator, the Age Friendly Community Assessment & Action Plan Project, the Kootenay Seniors Website, and the Kootenay Seniors Service Provider Group.
With the groundwork laid in Phase I of the Age Friendly Community Initiative, a strong structure is now in place to support seniors’ service planning, funding and coordination. Excellent progress has been made in strengthening the community’s capacity to meet the needs of the growing senior population in the region. Key stakeholders are working together collaboratively to improve service delivery and new services have been developed that are improving seniors’ wellbeing.
Key Events in 2015 – 2016
- April 2015 the Moving Together Report is released outlining creative, practical recommendations for improving seniors transportation options
- July 2015 the GAL Project celebrates Canada Day at Lakeside Park promoting the addition of a wheelchair accessible van to the Kootenay Carshare fleet
- July 2015 Phase II of the AFC Initiative begin, led by a cohesive, dedicated and well-functioning Advisory Committee with a collective community vision
- August 2015 the Kootenay Seniors Website is revitalized with a site redesign and exciting new features.
- September 2015 the Kootenay Seniors Service Coordination Project delivers Seniors Service Protocols.
- October 2015 the first annual Kootenay Seniors Fair celebrates National Seniors Day
- October 2015 the AFC Advisory Committee meets with BC Seniors Advocate Isobel Mackenzie to discuss local seniors concerns
- October 2015 Phase III of Moving Together project is launched with a visit from Vancouver Foundation CEO Kevin McCort
- December 2015 AFC Health Services Strategy Group is struck to strengthen collaboration and coordination between seniors/community services and Interior Health
- January 2016 the AFC Initiative moves to a new storefront location at 709 Vernon
- January 2016 the Moving Together Project launches the West Kootenay Seniors Transportation Coordinator
- January 2016 Age Friendly Community Assessment & Action Plan project gets underway in partnership with the City of Nelson
- March 2016 the Moving Together Working Group presents a recommendation to the West Kootenay Transit Committee with a plan for more seamless transit service from Kaslo and the North Shore to the Trail Hospital