With an aging population that is increasingly relying on immigration for growth, Edmonton has been doing remarkable work to prepare our city to support seniors with changing demographics.
The Vision for an Age-Friendly Edmonton is the result of extensive community consultations with seniors, their caregivers and key stakeholders. It is built on a common vision of Edmonton as a community that values, respects and actively supports the well-being of seniors and promotes an age-friendly community.
There are 9 key strategic areas:
- Community Support Services
- Health Services
- Communication and Information
- Social and Recreational Participation
- Respect and Social Inclusion
- Civic participation, Volunteerism and Employment
- Outdoor Spaces and Buildings
Edmonton is an exceptional city for collaborating across sectors on complex issues. And one thing that is clear is we need more seniors housing in mature neighbourhoods.
“There remains the perception in older communities that more single family housing is required, but we learned this is not necessarily true. Often, it is better to get seniors out of existing housing and into multi-housing units that suits their needs. Adding this housing form to older neighbourhoods will help create neighbourhood wellness”. Some seniors are hanging on to their homes despite struggling with snow shovelling and home maintenance because there are no other housing options in their neighbourhoods.
While Council and the Administration can promote the Vision for an Age-Friendly Edmonton, we know that we need to make strategic investments at the community level for it to be realized.
1. The City needs to actively engage and support builders and developers to build new seniors housing in mature neighbourhoods. My work leading the revitalization of the Petrolia Mall informed me clearly that seniors housing is a huge need that community members feel could be met on that site.
2. We also can make more significant investments in our seniors centres like in the southeast and west end and also support community development work that connect the generations for their mutual benefit. People want to help each other and they need help connecting. An age-friendly city is built one neighbourhood at a time.