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Age Friendly Community

Age-friendly environments are free from physical and social barriers and supported by policies, systems, services, products and technologies that:

  • promote health and build and maintain physical and mental capacity across the life course; and
  • enable people, even when experiencing capacity loss, to continue to do the things they value.

Age-friendly practices help build older peoples abilities to:

  • meet their basic needs;
  • learn, grow and make decisions;
  • be mobile;
  • build and maintain relationships; and
  • contribute.

In doing so, age-friendly practices:

  • recognize the wide range of capacities and resources among older people;
  • anticipate and respond flexibly to ageing-related needs and preferences;
  • respect older people's decisions and lifestyle choices;
  • reduce inequities;
  • protect those who are most vulnerable; and promote older people's inclusion in and contribute to all areas of community life.

The French River senior age-friendly committee was initiated in 2010 by our local senior group, Le Club des ainés de la Rivière des Français as they were approached by la Fédération des ainés et des retraités francophones de l’Ontario (FAFO). A steering committee was formed and was comprised of multiple key partners sitting at the table such as local senior, municipal representatives, various healthcare partners and members of the local OPP. Through public consultations, the steering committee was able to develop an age-friendly action plan for the French River area. Our mission is to create support for the families of the Municipality of French River thrive together in a community that provides mutual support to create a range of health, social and cultural services for people of all ages which aim to promote an exceptional quality of life in a sustainable, attractive and welcoming environment. In 2012, the Municipality of French River was officially recognized as an Age-Friendly Community: Village amis des ainés, amis de tous de la Rivière des Français.

The French River VAA has much to be proud of in terms of its work to date in relation to our action plan. We have created more green spaces with resting areas and improved lighting. The theme of social participation has been addressed in many ways with the production of historical videos of our ancestors, archiving of historical books and documents at our local library, intergenerational activities with the schools such as our adopt-a-grandparent activity, as well as our highly successful senior friendly and accessible community gardens project, which prioritizes intergenerational skill and knowledge exchange. We have also established free digital advertisement for community events with local agencies and partners. The committee continues to move forward to create a healthy, active, age-friendly community by pursuing the development of senior-friendly trails.

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