Sparwood has recently taken steps towards improving the inner workings of their mountain community, and did so by introducing the Age-Friendly Community Plan which will focus on improving the overall living experience of the elderly.
The plan was formally received by Sparwood Council on November 7, 2016 after a 10-month consultation process undertaken by the Age-Friendly Committee. To develop the plan, a series of workshops, surveys and discussion groups were held throughout Sparwood where residents’ concerns and ideas were integrated into the plan which will see Sparwood become a more welcoming, accessible, comfortable and safe place for people of all ages.
Through the consultation process residents that participated indicated that Sparwood is generally a friendly place to age. Residents felt that social connections, recreation opportunities and feeling safe in the community were some of the top reasons they enjoyed staying in Sparwood.
Recommendations for improving the overall quality of life in Sparwood included developing local transportation options for seniors, the creation of more casual social gathering spots throughout the community and developing more opportunities for people to connect.
Based on the World Health Organization’s eight elements of an Age-Friendly community: outdoor spaces and building, public transportation; housing, social participation, respect and inclusion, employment and volunteerism; community support and health services, and communication & information, the plan provides detailed actions that both the community and district can take to make Sparwood a better place in which to grow old.
“The Age-Friendly Community Plan will help guide future initiatives in Sparwood and ensure we continue to make Sparwood a place for everyone to age in place” said Mayor McDougall. “Being a rural community always has its challenges, especially after retirement, and the Age-Friendly Community Plan will play a big role in ensuring we make Sparwood what we already know it is, a wonderful place to grow-up, work and retire.”
The Age-Friendly Community Plan will be integrated into Sparwood’s planning documents and help guide future projects and initiatives in the community. For more information on the Age-Friendly Sparwood Community Plan and what you can do to make Sparwood an Age-Friendly Community visit Sparwood.ca/reports.