Age-friendly focus groups in the works

Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table

June is a busy month for members of the Seniors Planning Table. Many events are being organized on the Coast, throughout B.C. and Canada to acknowledge the amazing contributions made by older adults to our communities – including BC Seniors Week (June 5 to 11) and World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (June 15).

The Planning Table and its seven action groups are working hard to implement their individual action plans and some are also hosting “age-friendly” focus groups. The focus groups will provide information about community resources and seek suggestions for how to make our communities even more age-friendly. Age-friendly communities are places where people of all ages and abilities, including older adults, are safe, valued, healthy and full participants. Outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, respect, inclusion, social and civic participation, employment, communication, and community support and health services all contribute to age-friendliness.

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Three Sechelt community associations are hosting or co-sponsoring age-friendly focus groups. Check their newsletters and communications for details. There will be a focus group to hear directly from people with the lived experience of dementia, as well as one for private home support providers. On Friday, June 10 from 1 to 3 p.m., a public focus group will be taking place at the Sechelt Activity Centre.

On Saturday, June 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. we will host a public intergenerational, independent living, housing-focused age-friendly information event. Stories of community members of all ages challenged to find affordable and accessible rental and for-purchase housing will be featured. You will get to hear about local resources and initiatives. We need your ideas for what would help, and you will have a chance to network with others who are interested in starting or getting involved in new initiatives.

A short survey is also under development and will be widely available soon. To register for any of these events, host a focus group or to circulate and collect the survey, please be in touch. Check bulletin boards and the websites of the District of Sechelt (www.sechelt.ca) and the Resource Centre (www.resourcecentre.ca) for details.

The Seniors Planning Table operates under the leadership of the Resource Centre, with the financial support of the District of Sechelt. For more information, contact coordinator Alison Leaney at 604-885-4088 or seniorsplanningtable@resourcecentre.ca

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