Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

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ScottRoss
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Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

Post by ScottRoss »

I will be a part of a team on council that will make Kelowna an age friendly community.

Currently in British Columbia there are 11 communities that the provincial government recognizes as age friendly, with the senior population set to double by 2030 our city government needs to act to make Kelowna more responsive to our older persons' needs.

To make Kelowna an age friendly community I will lead with Council to:

-Support utilizing adaptive housing building standards so people can live in their homes as they age.
-Act to create an Age Friendly Advisory Committee or include a similar mandate in an already existing committee.
-Promote volunteer opportunities for seniors; city-funded organizations should consider or be required to provide full opportunities for seniors to volunteer, as this increases activity and improves well-being.
-Initiate the formation of an Age Friendly Community strategy that will work with seniors' to address issues and problems.
-Review and propose increased availability of public washrooms downtown and in other areas of high demand.
-Strengthen community gardens to promote individual activity and social growth for older persons.
-Increase affordable housing opportunites (Affordable housing policy here: http://scottrossforkelowna.com/2011/10/22/affordable-housing/)

The older generation built this city and this country, as they age, our governments must ensure their quality of life is maintained and enhanced through smart and efficient planning.

To enable seniors to be active and independent Kelowna must utilize adaptable housing building standards so they can live in their homes as they age. Adaptable housing helps people stay in their own homes through illness, injury and aging and reduces the cost of future renovations to accommodate people with disabilities. Building standards that include wider corridors for wheelchairs, fixtures that are easily grasped, reinforced walls for hand rails, and other options create housing units that will maintain the quality of life for seniors as the age.

As adaptable housing reduces the strain on our healthcare system, Kelowna must also use those building standards as Chilliwack and other municipalities have done, to attract provincial funding by adopting a requirement for certain developments to include adaptable housing. These building standards should only be a part of a city-wide age friendly strategy.

To make cities more amenable to seniors, the BC government has made several recommendations. The first recommendation is that municipalities create an age friendly committee or include a similar mandate in an already existing committee, like the Accessibility Advisory Committee. This committee would work with seniors to be active in identifying assets and features while also identifying barriers and needs. Creating a strategy to make Kelowna an age friendly community would be the committee's first responsibility and the provincial government has promised funding to enable projects in this area.

Our city would be nothing if it wasn't for the people who came before us, their lives should only get better with age, not worse. To ensure our seniors have a good quality of life, I and the new council will work to make Kelowna a true age friendly community.
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Dayleen
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Re: Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

Post by Dayleen »

Scott, all of these things should be a given!!

You and i were both at the senior forum at the Rotary Centre. We all heard that there is no senior advisory committee...seriously...no senior advisory committee for the admittedly huge percentage of our community...I'm still shocked!

Since I'm pretty sure seniors didn't just arrive here last week...how is this possible? How could they be so forgotten and over-looked by council...and not just this council, but every council before them??

Through this whole process of running for council, I've heard current council claim how important seniors are and yet, they have no official voice! Talk is cheap, action screams volumes to me and this is screaming volumes...seniors aren't as important to council as they'd like you to believe...but...then neither are jobs, affordable housing, transit or just about anything else. If they were a priority...they wouldn't continually be an election issue..election after election.

If something were truly a priority, it would be solved! In your own life, I'm guessing having a job is a priority...so you have one! If living in a home with a roof over your head is a priority...you have one...food in your tummy...you make it happen. If it were a priority to council....well...you get the point!

Council should be doing everything possible to help those who can't do these things themselves...making the city age friendly & accessible is (or should be) a given!

Dayleen Van Ryswyk
For Kelowna City Council
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ScottRoss
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Joined: Apr 5th, 2008, 7:27 pm

Re: Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

Post by ScottRoss »

Communities in our province years ago began looking at making their cities more age friendly, I agree Dayleen Kelowna needs to act.

A great report by the BC government came out this year recommending municipalities adopt an Age Friendly Committee or include a similar mandate in another committee to adress senior issues, the report is located here: http://www.seniorsbc.ca/documents/afbc/Becoming_an_Age-friendly_Community_Local_Government_Guide.pdf

Chilliwack last year adopted a requirement for certain developments to build a portion of their units according to adaptable housing building standards and they received provincial funding as part of that initiative. This is a short video clip from Chilliwack's city council meeting on the subject and it is very informative http://www.gov.chilliwack.bc.ca/main/page.cfm?id=2053
wilde
Posts: 33
Joined: Oct 16th, 2011, 9:40 pm

Re: Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

Post by wilde »

Sorry Ross, I have watched while you helped destroy a meeting at the rec center when my wife and I went there to seek help
for a critically ill son.
I've watched and read while you spin your federal Liberal rhetoric around like paste.
I do give you credit for being an almost professional spin doctor. Pardon me if I choose not to believe anything you have to say!
I have been around for more than 7 decades and I know a slick political artist when I see one! You do not speak for the seniors I live with.
watchingfromthesidelines
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Joined: Dec 16th, 2007, 9:07 am

Re: Making Kelowna An Age Friendly Community

Post by watchingfromthesidelines »

[quote="ScottRoss"]Communities in our province years ago began looking at making their cities more age friendly, I agree Dayleen Kelowna needs to act.

A great report by the BC government came out this year recommending municipalities adopt an Age Friendly Committee or include a similar mandate in another committee to adress senior issues, the report is located here: http://www.seniorsbc.ca/documents/afbc/Becoming_an_Age-friendly_Community_Local_Government_Guide.pdf


Good on both you Scott and Dayleen for bringing this to the forefront. Hope the rest of the council agrees that this is a priority. I for one, as a soon to be senior and my many friends, look forward to Kelowna acting on some recommendations made at the seniors forum last week. Good luck to you and the other many good candidates we've got running in this election.

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