On December 1, 2014, the Town of Whitby joined the World Health Organization's Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities. This committed the municipality to engaging seniors and the Whitby community in reviewing the characteristics of an Age-Friendly Community, identifying partnerships and developing recommendations for an Age-Friendly Whitby Action Plan.
Defined, Age-Friendly Communities are 'supportive physical and social environments that enable older people to live active, safe and meaningful lives and continue to contribute in all areas of community life'.
The World Health Organization provides assessment tools for Age-Friendly Communities based on eight dimensions:
In 2015, the Town received a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Seniors to assist with the development of an Age-Friendly Action Plan. A steering committee was developed to oversee the project and community consultations took place through focus groups, Public Information Centres and a community survey. Community organizations, Regional and Town staff were also consulted throughout the process. As a result 72 recommendations were identified to make Whitby an even better place for seniors to live, work and play. The plan was approved by Council in May 2017 and implementation is now underway.
Two versions of the plan were created and can be accessed below:
An Age-Friendly Whitby Network has been formed and is made up of Seniors, Community Partners and Town Staff. Their purpose is to oversee the implementation of recommendations within the Age-Friendly Whitby Action Plan. Although municipally led, completion of the objectives depends significantly on organizations and support within the Whitby community. Progress will be monitored through resident feedback and annual reporting to Town of Whitby Council. The Town of Whitby, Seniors and the Community are excited to be undertaking this initiative to ensure Whitby remains the Community of Choice for its residents.
As part of the Town of Whitby's Age-Friendly Plan, the Age-Friendly Network has started a Seniors Centre Without Walls program. This program is designed for homebound seniors who cannot attend activities in the community but still would like to make connections with others. The program, funded by a grant from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility, focuses on connecting seniors over the phone. Volunteers along with the Whitby Public Library staff conduct an hour long program once per week, full of engaging activities such as trivia, travel logs, music and storytelling. This program is for residents of Whitby 55+ only.
For more information or to register, contact Jessica Fox at the Whitby Seniors' Activity Centre at 905.430.4300 x1766 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Age-Friendly Whitby Action Plan or to find out more about the Age-Friendly Whitby Network, please contact: email@example.com
Town of Whitby 575 Rossland Road East, Whitby, ON L1N 2M8 Phone 905.430.4300 Email firstname.lastname@example.org