Province honours nine communities for age-friendly efforts

Sharon Blady (centre front) recognized nine communities for "age-friendly" work.
Sharon Blady (centre front) recognized nine communities for “age-friendly” work.

Sharon Blady, Manitoba’s Minister of Healthy Living and Seniors, recently recognized nine communities for becoming safer, better places to live, learn, play and grow for residents of all ages. The province honoured them through it’s Age Friendly Milestones Recognition Program.

“Age-friendly is about listening to older Manitobans and all citizens, hearing what they have to say and what they want for their communities. We hear they want inclusive, safe and accessible intergenerational environments that support people of all ages to live their lives to the fullest. Manitoba’s age-friendly work has given a unique voice to older adults and we will continue to support communities in achieving their vision,” said Blady.

Manitoba is a leader in the Age Friendly movement, with 100 communities across the province signed up, covering more than 80 per cent of the province’s population. To date, the investments made in communities and partners is over $2.5 million and counting.

The Age Friendly milestones recognition program honours communities for their dedication, hard work and perseverance in creating safer, better places for Manitobans of all ages to live, learn, play and grow. The communities recognized are: the Town of Carman and rural municipality of Dufferin, Town of Treherne, Town of Cartwright and R.M. of Roblin, Town of Beausejour and R.M. of Brokenhead, City of Selkirk and City of Winnipeg.

They were honoured for the following activities and achievements:

Town of Carman and the R.M. of Dufferin
The Town of Carman and the R.M. of Dufferin made many improvements to their communities including addressing concerns about post office parking, installing a public washroom, placing benches along pathways and purchasing outdoor fitness equipment for adults.

Town of Treherne
The Town of Treherne has much to offer including housing and a personal care home that are connected directly to the hospital, newly developed seniors’ housing, congregate meal programs, an intergenerational reading program, transportation to recreational activities, beautiful scenery and walking paths. The town is working on sidewalk repairs, extending the use of school exercise equipment to the public, installing crosswalk signs, repairing streets and is working with businesses on being more age-friendly.

Village of Cartwright and the R.M. of Roblin
The Village of Cartwright and the R.M. of Roblin are working on increasing the number of parking spaces for people with disabilities, making sidewalks more accessible, developing a wheelchair accessible washroom in the local drop-in centre, installing a picnic table and bench at Rock Lake Beach and acknowledging age-friendly businesses in their community.

Town of Beausejour and the R.M. of Brokenhead
These communities focused on intergenerational opportunities by proclaiming June 1 as Intergenerational Day and developing an action plan guided by the age-friendly principles.

Some activities in these two communities include expanding paved pathways with the Town of Beausejour, raising awareness of applying age-friendly principles among business and community groups, promoting free transportation for seniors to attend wellness workshops and increasing the number of volunteer drivers.

City of Selkirk
The City of Selkirk has made many positive changes to its transit and handi-bus program. Through their age-friendly action plan, the City of Selkirk has created the Selkirk Resource Guide for Seniors and is continuing to work on improvements to make their community safer for pedestrians and motorized scooter operators.

City of Winnipeg
The City of Winnipeg and the Age-Friendly and Mayor’s Advisory Committee have embraced the goal of becoming age-friendly by launching an action plan and working on issues for seniors living in Winnipeg. The plan includes improvements to pedestrian crossings, a senior travel training program through Winnipeg Transit and expanded computer training and other age-friendly programs at city libraries and more recreational opportunities for all ages.

By achieving age-friendly milestones, these nine communities demonstrate leadership and provide inspiration for other communities. They set a precedent for positive change and are helping Manitoba to become the most age-friendly province in Canada.

For more information about the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative and how to join the initiative, please visit www.agefriendlymanitobainitiative.ca or call the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat at 204-945-6565, toll free 1-800-665-6565.

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