(Image by Julia Mirvis from Pixabay)

Summerland to ask residents about aging

Survey will be used to identify community priorities

The District of Summerland is developing an age-friendly plan and is asking to hear from people of all ages about what makes Summerland a great place to age and what can be done to work on community priorities.

The survey will be available for two weeks, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15, and is open to everyone in the community.

The questions are based on the Age-Friendly Community framework from the World Health Organization with topics like housing, transportation, outdoor spaces, community services and social inclusion.

It can be accessed online at summerland.ca. Paper copies are available at the District of Summerland office.

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“It is exciting to be moving forward with the development of an age-friendly plan for Summerland,” said Mayor Toni Boot. “The plan will provide a framework for how the District can become a community that is recognized as being age-friendly.”

She said the results will mean an improved quality of life for seniors as well as benefits for the entire community. These include a more inclusive, safe and accessible community.

“As a council, we are committed to collaborative action that strengthens and supports healthy living for all of our residents,” she said.

The project started in May and the first community advisory committee meeting was held in June.

“I am really pleased to be part of the advisory committee for this project,” said Dusty Tucker, who moved to Summerland almost four years ago to be closer to family. “The community is so welcoming and has everything I need.”

This survey is intended to help Summerlanders understand what the community needs and wants in order to support health aging.

“Once we know what everyone thinks, we can work together to implement projects that meet community priorities,” Tucker said. “There is so much knowledge here, and we can learn from what other communities have done. There are lots of examples of great programs from around the world that would work here.”

Angelique Wood, community development coordinator for Summerland, said the initiative will help the community.

“Everyone benefits from physically and socially accessible communities,” she said. “The easier it is to get around and connect with others, the stronger and more inclusive our community becomes.”

The project report and plan are due to be completed in December.

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