By Eric Bourque
A local seniors organization will release a report and action plan regarding issues facing seniors in the Municipality of Argyle.
The release is scheduled for Monday, March 17, and will take place in the Father Maurice LeBlanc theatre, part of the school community centre at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas in Tusket.
The Comité des aînées et aînés de la Région d’Argyle will release the report – The Municipality of Argyle, an Age-Friendly Community – as part of an afternoon that will include workshops and a supper.
Preparation of the report included a consultative process that sought to identify issues in the following areas:
--health services and health care;
--housing and accommodation infrastructure;
--social environment and recreation – outdoor spaces and buildings;
--transportation and travel;
--income and the cost of living;
--seniors’ representation and contribution: respect and social inclusion;
--information and education.
Under the umbrella of health, for example, priorities identified included improving access to health services and homecare, providing clear information about available programs and services and ensuring a better approach to meet the needs of seniors and help them live independently.
An “age-friendly” community has been defined as one where “seniors participate in the vitality of their community, one that attends to the needs of its elderly population.”
The idea is to have seniors age while remaining active, a process that seeks to ensure their health and safety, protecting and enhancing their quality of life.
The concept of age-friendly cities originated at the international level with the World Health Organization about a decade ago.
A similar initiative was then launched in Canada, but with a focus on smaller communities.
In 2010-2011 a study was commissioned focusing on the needs of Nova Scotia’s francophone seniors. Researchers at Université Sainte-Anne did the work.
Locally, the Acadian seniors group – the Comité des aînées et aînés de la Région d’Argyle – decided to continue this initiative by forming a local action committee to implement the project, a committee chaired by Paul d’Entremont.
The activities in Tusket March 17 are scheduled to start at 1 p.m. The report is to be released at 3 p.m.