Kathie Paddock, MSc. is the lead Senior Analyst at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) responsible for Age-Friendly Communities. Kathie is a gerontologist with over 18 years of experience in the field of aging. She began her career working in the health field, including working with frail seniors and those with dementia in community care and facility-based settings.
Age-Friendly Communities – New Evidence from Canadian Initiatives
Canada has been at the forefront of the global movement to make communities age-friendly, having played a key role in the development of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities project as well as the Age-Friendly Rural and Remote Communities initiative sponsored by Canada’s Federal, Provincial, Territorial Ministers Responsible for Seniors. Since the Age-Friendly concept was brought to Canada over ten years ago, there has been significant uptake in over 1,000 communities across Canada. As we celebrate a decade of age-friendly action in Canada, it is timely to take stock and examine where communities are at in terms of Age-Friendly Communities (AFC) initiatives. The Public Health Agency of Canada worked with experts at the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Association of Seniors Centres to obtain a national picture of the scope and outcomes of current AFC initiatives across all ten provinces that are actively engaged. Objectives of this project were to:
1) Determine the scope of AFC initiatives in Canada (e.g., are they focused on certain domains?);
2) Determine the extent to which linkages with key public health issues have been made (such as fall prevention, mental health, dementia, elder abuse, physical activity, and social isolation);
3) Determine the extent to which initiatives have included evaluation efforts; and
4) Understand existing evaluation results from Canadian AFC initiatives.
The objectives were addressed based on key stakeholder responses and an environmental scan involving a literature review and review of websites. Specifically:
- surveys, telephone interviews and/or e-mail exchanges with key stakeholders within each of the ten provincial governments;
- surveys or telephone interviews with key stakeholders from specific communities;
- a review of documents and journal articles that focused on evaluations of AFC initiatives; and,
- a review of websites.
This presentation will set the context for Canada’s active role in the last decade in making communities age-friendly, and highlight findings from Age-Friendly Communities across the country. Ms. Paddock will describe the context and policy implications and Dr. Menec will walk the audience through the methodology and findings of this project. These findings will not only provide a snapshot of the focus and outcomes of Canadian AFC initiatives, but could also help inform policy at all levels of government and future direction on the next phase of Age-Friendly Communities in Canada.