In 2013, the City of Hamilton partnered with the Hamilton Council on Aging (HCoA) and Seniors Advisory Committee of Council (SAC) to begin the development of Hamilton’s Age Friendly Plan (PDF, 4 MB ). Public consultation included over 700 older adults, community stakeholders, and key partners from various sectors across the city. Since the number of older adults and seniors in Hamilton is expected to double over the next two decades, the Plan helps to identify and address the needs and priorities of this growing part of our population.
Since 2014, the City, HCoA and SAC have worked with many community partners to make Hamilton an age friendly city. This work includes building on projects that are already happening in the community, such as barrier-free spaces, housing opportunities, safer neighbourhoods and available communication.
The Plan is organized around seven goals, 25 objectives and 101 actions and commits to a series of actions to achieve these goals.
1. Housing - choice is available and affordable
Goal: Everyone should have a place to live. People are supported in ways that make sense for their unique circumstances with a full range of housing options in their neighbourhood.
- Older adults can easily access the information they need with respect to various housing options and have tools available to help them plan for their aging.
- Older adults' housing affordability, stability and choice is increased and maintained over time.
- People receive respectful, quality services within a 'user-friendly' system and experience equity and inclusion when accessing social housing.
- Ensure older adults have the individualized supports they need to help them obtain and maintain housing.
2. Getting Around Greater Hamilton - options enable seniors to get around Hamilton
Goal: The City's transportation systems, urban design and physical infrastructure enable people to participate in community life as they choose, as well as age in their community.
- Ensure the ideas and concerns expressed in this plan inform the Master Transportation Plan.
- Investigate the design, feasibility and funding opportunities for developing a shared ride model that provides the "right" amount of door-to-door convenience mixed with the cost effectiveness of shared ride.
- Building on existing services and capacity, identify opportunities to expand usage of community bus shuttles or volunteer drives as a way of getting people directly to where they want to go.
- Improve the ease of using public transit.
- Improve the Disabled and Aged Regional Transportation System (DARTS)
- With new developments and where possible with redevelopment, implement a complete communities policy.
3. Communication and Information - is easy to access and understand
Goal: Older adults have access to information and systems that are better connected, and are able to influence and design the type of information systems they need; customer service and wayfinding are intentional and responsive to individual needs and capacities.
- Increase awareness of local trusted sources of information (i.e. 905-546-CITY, Redbook.ca, 211).
- Improve communication between the City of Hamilton and other residents.
- Increase digital literacy of older adults.
- Increase access to assistive devices and translation services for the non-profit sector.
- Improve access to plainly written information on what is available to older adults.
4. Healthy and Community Services - support aging-in-place
Goal: Older adults have access to a wide range of supports and services that allow them to remain in their homes and attend to their health and personal needs. Aging in community is eased by good urban design, appropriate housing, and the support of family and community.
- Improve access to supports that reduce risk and assist older adults to be able to remain safely in their homes longer.
- Ensure that older adults have easy, seamless and equitable access to services that cross the continuum of care.
5. Social Participation - recreation, leisure and cultural activities foster social connections
Goal: Social engagement opportunities are welcoming and reflect the diverse interests and preferences of older adults in the community, and are available in a variety of formats.
- Ensure there are recreation, leisure and cultural activities for older adults throughout greater Hamilton in a variety of venues that are easily accessible and meet their diverse needs and interests.
- Centres that serve older adults should be designed to meet the needs of a variety of clients and help diverse groups to age in successful and productive ways.
6. Civic Engagement, Volunteerism, Employment - meaningful opportunities are available
Goal: Hamilton's vibrant civic life includes meaningful roles for older people as leaders, influencers, employers and volunteers.
- Ensure there is a range of meaningful volunteer opportunities that use the gifts and talents of older adults in service to others or the community at large.
- Older adults are valued as employees.
7. Age Friendly Public Service - City services champion Hamilton being an Age Friendly community
Goal: Leader in all City of Hamilton departments will champion age-friendly strategies in their scope of authority and practice, and in partnership with the community.
- Ensure that the development of all planning and programming of policy frameworks and City services uses an equity and inclusion lens, i.e. the unique characteristics and needs of different populations including older adults are taken into account,
- Ensure that policies, programs and services for older adults in Hamilton are aligned with promisin and emerging practices.
- Increase the ease of inter-departmental collaboration and coordination in planning for, and serving, older adults.
- Enaged the communiuty and other stakeholders in the implementation of this Plan.
The Plan and Reports
- 2018: Provincial government honours the City of Hamilton with the Ontario Age Friendly Community Recognition Award
- 2015: The World Health Organization’s Network of Age Friendly Cities and Communities certifies Hamilton as a member of the network
- 2014: Hamilton City Council endorses Hamilton’s Age Friendly Plan
For more information, contact:
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext.1721
Email: [email protected]
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