Michelle Dellamora is the Supervisor for Age Friendly London with the City of London, Neighbourhood, Children and Fire Services. Since 2011, Michelle has been actively involved in the Age Friendly London initiative, beginning with her graduate research on baseline assessment of age-friendliness and as a member of the Age Friendly London Task Force. Michelle holds a Master’s degree in Health Sciences from Western University and is a member of the Canadian Association on Gerontology. In her role as Supervisor, Michelle uses the principles of community development to support the work of the Age Friendly London Network.
Creating Age-friendly Neighbourhoods: A Case Study of London, Ontario, Canada
Tracy Drenth has worked in the municipal recreation sector for over 17 years, and currently holds the position of Supervisor with Area Recreation Services with the City of London. When she began working with the City of London in 2009, she began with children, youth and family programming, and has progressed to a portfolio that focuses on the well-being of older adults. In addition to managing older adult recreation program and outreach services, Tracy also provides support to various neighbourhood groups and community projects, which includes collaborative strategic planning with various local agencies and organizations. Tracy holds a diploma in Recreation & Leisure Services from Conestoga College, in addition to a diploma in Public Administration from Western University.
London, Ontario was the first City in Canada to join the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Network of Age Friendly Cities in 2010. Since then, the Age Friendly London Network (AFLN) has implemented a community Action Plan to improve age-friendliness of social and physical environments. The implementation of Action Plan strategies has helped to create age friendly neighbourhoods across London, which contributes to the health and overall well-being of older adults (age 55+).
Within the domain of Social Participation, AFLN members have focused on improving access to social and recreation opportunities at the neighbourhood level. This has been achieved partly through the City of London’s Hub and Satellite Service Model – neighbourhood outreach programs from the City’s larger Seniors’ Centres. The Seniors’ Satellites contribute to older adults’ ability to remain active and socially engaged by providing affordable, accessible physical activity and leisure programming that is near their homes and often situated in existing community hubs. This enhances opportunities for both formal and informal socializing and connects older adults with information about events, community supports and programs. Implementation of the Satellites is supported by organizations that are members of the AFLN and have committed to city-wide goals of creating social environments that reduce barriers to participation and support healthy aging.
A Seniors’ Satellites Tool Kit was created to provide direction and instruction to other communities who would like to replicate the London model of service delivery. This inclusive Tool Kit encompasses steps and processes to engage residents and provide neighbourhood-based health and wellness programming to improve social connectedness, physical and mental health, and opportunities for inclusion of newcomers and marginalized populations.
The workshop will include: 1) Background of the Age Friendly London initiative and the hub and satellite model of older adult recreation programming; 2) Explanation how the work of the AFLN is interfacing with practical application through the delivery of programs and services at the neighbourhood level; 3) Description of the Seniors’ Satellites Tool Kit information and how to use the Tool Kit; 4) A group learning activity where participants will be lead through a case study of how to use the Tool Kit with a focus on troubleshooting for communities with varying needs; 4) Question and answer period.
Workshop participants will develop their competency in creating age friendly neighbourhoods with a focus on how to implement older adult recreation programming. Participants will also be equipped with a practical example of a program implementation model and how to overcome barriers during the implementation process.
Who should attend: Those with direct control over older adult recreation programming and service delivery. Mid- and high-level decision-makers from organizations and municipalities. Age friendly advocates and Councils on Aging.