Media Release: OLDS NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR ‘SILVER TSUNAMI’ June 2016

Download a PDF version of the release here.

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: June 2, 216

 

OLDS NEEDS TO PREPARE FOR ‘SILVER TSUNAMI’

Research recommends that seniors be considered when developing services in Olds

 

(OLDS, Alberta – June 2, 2016) According to a research report commissioned by the Community Lifestyles Committee of the Olds Institute, Olds had “…a significantly higher number of older adults aged 60+ than in towns with similar population in the province of Alberta “. With support from the Olds Institute and Olds Town Council, the Age Friendly Committee is developing a project based on the Government of Alberta ‘Building Age Friendly Communities’ materials. The project has identified that this demographic would be important to consider when developing services in Olds

To accomplish this goal, the Age Friendly Committee is using Alberta Health materials to host focus groups and survey residents on the eight dimensions of an age-friendly community. The results and proposed action plan will be reported to the Olds Institute Board, Olds Town Council and other relevant stakeholders.  If residents wish to participate they can do so by contacting Erica Sweetman with the Age Friendly Committee.

What does an Age-Friendly Community look like? It will have healthier residents, which will include those with various disabilities. Residents are supported to maintain their independence and prevent illness and injuries. Age-friendly communities adapt, create and put in place policies, services, settings and structures that support and enable people to age actively by:

  • Developing stronger community connections: residents are encouraged to participate in the workforce, recreational opportunities and social & volunteer opportunities;
  • Increasing optimal use of public resources thus improving use of tax dollars;
  • Providing greater business opportunities;
  • Enhancing citizenship.

“Design for the young and you exclude the old, design for the old and you include everyone.”

World Health Organization (WHO)

The Olds Institute was formed in 2001 by community leaders who realized they could achieve more together than they could apart. It is governed by a volunteer board of directors representing their four founding members and members of the community at large.

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Contact information:

 

Olds Institute

4512 – 46 St, Olds, Alberta Canada T4H 1R5

Phone: (403) 586-4000

Fax: (403) 556-6537

E-Mail: office@oldsinstitute.com

Website: www.OldsInstitute.com

 

Mitch Thompson,

Executive Director of Olds Institute

Phone: (403) 586-4000

eMail: mthomson@oldsinstitute.com 

Age Friendly Committee (Olds Institute)

 

Erica Sweetman 

eMail: erica@playgroundguy.com

Phone: (403)556-8499

Community Lifestyles Committee (Olds Institute) Bernice Lynn 

eMail: blynn@oldsnet.com

Phone: (403)556-3498

  Rita Thompson 

eMail: rita@airenet.com

Phone: ( 403) 507-3343

 

Backgrounder:

 

“Building an Age-Friendly Community”

Community Lifestyles Committee – 2016

Building Age-Friendly Communities is a program initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help communities prepare for two major demographic trends: aging of populations and urbanization. The Canadian and Alberta Governments support this initiative.

The Community Lifestyles Committee (CLC) of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development (OI) hired Barbara Pedersen Facilitation Services Inc., who prepared ‘Social trends Research for Olds’ and the “Town of Olds Demographic Information Component”. The research indicated that Olds had “…a significantly higher number of older adults aged 60+ than in the province of Alberta “. Therefore this demographic would be important to consider when developing services in Olds

With this information, the CLC, with support from the Olds Institute and Olds Town Council, decided to use the Government of Alberta Materials for “Building Age Friendly Communities”. 

An “Age Friendly Community” is one that:

  • enables people of all ages to actively participate in community activities;
  • treats everyone with respect, regardless of age;
  • makes it easy to stay connected to those around you and those you love;
  • helps people stay healthy and active even at the oldest ages;
  • helps those who can no longer look after themselves to live with dignity and enjoyment.

Many cities and communities are already taking active steps towards becoming more age-friendly.

For the first time, Statistics Canada reported, there are more people in Canada age 65 and over than under age 15.  Nearly one in six Canadians – a record 5,780,900 Canadians was at least 65 years old…”(Calgary Herald Friday, Oct. 23/15).  “Approximately 90 people turn 65 every day in Alberta”. Olds as well as other communities need to prepare for the “silver tsunami.”

What does an Age-Friendly Community look like? It will have healthier residents, which will include those with various disabilities.  Residents are supported to maintain their independence and prevent illness and injuries. Age-friendly communities adapt, create and put in place policies, services, settings and structures that support and enable people to age actively by:

  • Developing stronger community connections where the above residents are encouraged to participate in the workforce, recreational opportunities and social and volunteer opportunities;
  • Increasing optimal use of public resources thus improving use of tax dollars. Services become accessible to more residents and have a greater impact in the community;
  • Providing greater business opportunities: Age-friendly businesses are more accessible to more residents who are more willing to access their services;
  • Enhancing citizenship.

The community recognizes and appreciates contributions made by all members of the community and engages them in all aspects of community life.

To accomplish this goal, the Age Friendly Committee is using Alberta Health materials to survey residents on the eight dimensions of an age-friendly community. The results and proposed action plan will be reported to the OI Board, Olds Town Council and other relevant stakeholders.  We know there are many positive supports available for residents and those will be included in the survey. If you or your group wish to participate you can do so by _________________________. Or if you or your group has any questions please direct them to Erica Sweetman  eMail: erica@playgroundguy.com Phone: (403)556-8499

 

“Design for the young and you exclude the old, design for the old and you include everyone.”

World Health Organization (WHO)