Alberni Valley Age-Friendly Plan
BackgroundThe 2016 Census notes that 21.8% of the total population in the ACRD is 65 years or older, which is higher than the provincial average of 18.3%. The largest population group in the ACRD is 45 to 64 years (30%), with the greatest growth expected in the next 20 years for those 75 and older. With this aging population, the ACRD needs to consider planning initiatives that support age-friendly communities such as accessibility, transportation, housing, health care, food security, and recreation.
In October 2018, the Board of Directors directed staff to apply to the 2019 UBCM Age-Friendly Communities grant program to develop a local Age-Friendly Plan. In November 2018, UBCM approved Stream 1 funding for the creation of an Alberni Valley Age-Friendly Community Action Plan. The Age-Friendly Communities program assists communities in BC to support aging populations by developing and implementing policies and plans, undertaking projects that enable seniors to age in place, and facilitating the creation of age-friendly communities. Age-friendly is a global, national and provincial initiative with a main goal of supporting healthy aging by encouraging and supporting communities in becoming more age-friendly.
Project OverviewThe overall project goal is to develop an Age-Friendly Plan that will include objectives and strategies to promote the development of the rural areas of the Alberni Valley (AV) as age-friendly communities. The Age-Friendly Plan will focus on residents 55 years and older in the four ACRD Electoral Areas (EA's), but will consider all ages and abilities, as an age-friendly community benefits all people. An age-friendly community is one that is designed to help older people live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved (Age-Friendly Communities, Government of Canada).
The population of residents 55 years and older in the AV EA's includes:
Although the Plan will be focused on the four AV EA's, the project team will involve and engage with other agencies and organizations such as First Nations, the City of Port Alberni, the Alberni Clayoquot Health Network, and other established committees and groups. Plan development will incorporate related activities and reports, some of which include existing age-friendly plans for the Districts of Tofino and Ucluelet, and City of Port Alberni. As well as the current City of Port Alberni assessment underway, and the ACRD Zoning Bylaw Review and EA Transit Feasibility Study, both of which are also underway. The Plan will focus on eight themes established by the World Health Organization to evaluate a community's age-friendliness through an age-friendly lens, including:
Project Timeline & TasksThe following project timeline outlines how the Age-Friendly Plan will be completed over four phases, by April 30, 2020.
- Phase 1 Project Strategy tasks include: Project kick-off meeting, background research, identify partners and stakeholders, establish Working Group, and engagement strategy.
- Phase 2 Community Engagement tasks include: Create web presence, resident survey, service provider survey/discussions, resident and service provider roundtable discussions/focus groups.
- Phase 3 Planning/Needs Assessment tasks include: Analysis of engagement activities, consultation summary, and research local policy context.
- Phase 4 Plan Development tasks include: Create policy action items (reviewed with an age-friendly lens), policy development to inform updates to ACRD documents (Zoning Bylaw, Alberni Valley EA OCP's, Alberni Valley Parks and Trails Strategic Plan, Alberni Valley Agricultural Plan and Coastal Addendum, and Alberni Valley Emergency Plan), create Plan.
AV Age-Friendly Working GroupTo help guide the Age-Friendly Plan development, an Age-Friendly Working Group (WG) has been established for the duration of the project, ending in April 2020. The WG is being led by project staff and is comprised of ACRD residents/community members, and various service providers/government representatives. Sproat Lake Director Penny Cote was appointed to the WG at the November 13, 2019 Board meeting and is the WG Chair.
Next StepsThe ACRD heard from over 375 respondents through the age-friendly survey that was open between December and January. Survey results were presented to the public, Working Group members, and other service providers and government agencies at the Age-Friendly Community Workshop on February 6, 2020. Workshop attendees also completed a visioning activity that built on and prioritized strengths, opportunities and needs developed by the Working Group, which were categorized into the eight project themes. All of this important input is being summarized by the project team, and will be developed into draft age-friendly recommendations that will be available for review in April 2020. Please contact the project team if you have any comments or questions. There's still time to have your say!
Contact UsFor additional information or if you have any questions, please contact us:
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
Planning and Development - Age-Friendly Plan