An age-friendly community is more inclusive, engaged and happy, says Warfield Mayor Diane Langman.
Unlike Rossland, Trail and the Beaver Valley, the village doesn’t have an age-friendly plan in place. That will change this year because the municipality was recently granted almost $25,000 to stimulate the directive, which embraces all ages, not just seniors.
So, what’s the next step?
“We are currently recruiting thoughtful Warfield citizens to people our Age-Friendly Task Force,” Langman told the Trail Times. “These citizens will be working through a process that includes several workshops, a few surveys, and public-input opportunities within Warfield.”
All these opportunities will allow every citizen to have a say in what could make Warfield more age-friendly, she explained.
“The task force will be instrumental in outlining what is most important, and how best to implement the suggestions.”
One of the outcomes Langman is looking forward to gaining is a better insight of the “wants” in all age groups, particularly the mature residents.
“We have a very active senior population, so this is a hard one to gauge and one we are hoping to gather a greater understanding of,” she said. “We want to ensure that what we are targeting is specifically what our residents are wanting.”
She encourages Warfield residents who are interested in being part of the task force to contact the municipal office at 250.368.8202.
“While we are a small area with several different municipalities and areas in our regional district, our needs, demands and barriers are often very different from community to community,” Langman added.
“The task-force is going to be instrumental in outlining what is most important and how to move forward with those suggestions.”
The B.C. Ministry of Health announced the 2019 age-friendly community grant recipients on Friday,
Also on the list was Rossland. The city was awarded $15,000 to create the role of an age-friendly community co-ordinator. The co-ordinator will be used as “a resource for seniors to gather information on programs and services available in their community.”
The ministry describes the position as an advocate for seniors as part of larger ongoing projects like housing and transportation, and to ensure their needs will be included in future city planning.
Additionally, Salmo received a $15,000 grant for a project “to bridge the gaps required to ensure seniors are engaged and respected in the community.”
The village is already recognized as an age-friendly community. The goal with this grant is to build on that status “to increase social contact, improve physical and mental well-being and encourage a sense of wonder, curiosity and engagement.”