March 2011, Issue 18 Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day On March 18, representatives from all 72 age-friendly comm...

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March 2011, Issue 18

Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day On March 18, representatives from all 72 age-friendly communities in Manitoba were invited to the Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day at the Hilton Suites, Winnipeg. Over 40 communities and more than 100 people attended the event! The morning session included an armchair conversation moderated by Centre on Aging Associate Director Jim Hamilton. Four representatives from different communities shared their community’s experience in becoming more age-friendly and reminded us that communities are at different stages in their agefriendly journey. All participants then had the opportunity to share age-friendly stories and discussion in small groups. Don Fletcher, from the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults, brought excitement to the start of the afternoon with his reassurance to communities that “all ages can work together” and that communities As Don Fletcher quoted: “A small group of all around thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, the world it’s the only thing that ever has” (Margaret Mead). are engaging in similar activities and encountering similar challenges to the ones here today. Participants then had the opportunity to attend three concurrent sessions on housing, transportation, and ‘overcoming challenges’. “Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day” continued on page 2 ...

Inside this issue ... Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day................................................................. 1 Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative orientation for new communities................................. 2 Age-friendly community day sites and sounds............................................................. 3

Principal Investigator Verena Menec, Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba

Community Lead Patti Chiappetta, Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat

Co-Investigators Judy Chipperfield, Psychology, University of Manitoba John Everitt, Geography, Brandon University Bonnie Hallman, Environment & Geography, University of Manitoba Richard Milgrom, City Planning, University of Manitoba Frances Racher, School of Health Studies, Brandon University Elizabeth Ready, Kinesiology & Recreation Management, University of Manitoba Alexander Segall, Sociology, University of Manitoba Laura Taylor, Social Work, University of Manitoba

Students Sheri Bell Jennifer Chen Lucelia Melo Sheila Novek Laura Rempel

Research Associates Nancy Newall Nadine Nowatzki John Spina

Bringing Age-Friendly to the Communities: New Age-Friendly Web site......................... 4


Centre on Aging Research Forum—Dr. David Butler-Jones............................................ 5

Frances Kuo, Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Amanda Macrae, Age & Opportunity Inc.

Fireside Chat: Age-Friendly Manitoba.......................................................................... 6 Community Consultations.......................................................................................... 7 WISER IV Study........................................................................................................ 8 Manitoba Planning Conference................................................................................... 8 Age-Friendly Communities in the Media...................................................................... 8

“Age-Friendly Connecting Communities Day” continued from page 1 ...

Overall feedback from the day was positive, and communities enjoyed the opportunity to connect with each other and share stories and information.

Louise Plouffe, Division of Aging and Seniors, Government of Canada Kimberly Weihs, Manitoba Society of Seniors Marjorie Wood, Creative Retirement Manitoba

Community Liaison Louise Hutton, University of Manitoba


Age-Friendly advisory committee members from across the province came together to hear what other age-friendly communities have been doing to help their communties become more age-friendly, one step at a time.

Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative orientation for new communities On March 17, 2011, the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat organized a half-day information session and workshop for communities interested in joining the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative. Six communities were in attendance: • Rural Municipality of Strathcona • Rural Municipality of Argyle • Rural Municipality of Victoria Beach • Town of Powerview/Pine Falls • Rural Municipality of Minitonas

Active Living Coalition for Older Adults (ALCOA) Age & Opportunity Centres, Inc. Assiniboine Regional Health Authority Brandon Regional Health Authority Creative Retirement Manitoba Division of Aging & Seniors, Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Federal Superannuates National Association (FSNA) Manitoba Association of Senior Centres (MASC) Manitoba Council on Aging Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat Manitoba Society of Seniors Inc. NOR-MAN Regional Health Authority Rural Development Institute South Eastman Health Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) Winnipeg in motion World Health Organization (WHO)

Newsletter editor contact information Dawn Veselyuk Project Coordinator Phone: 474-6583 Fax: 474-7576 Email: [email protected] ca

• Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet

Editorial assistant: Rachel Ines

Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat Executive Director Patti Chiappetta provided an introduction and overview of Age-Friendly Manitoba. CURA Project Coordinator Dawn Veselyuk highlighted the CURA’s involvement with Age-Friendly by focusing on the

Age-Friendly CURA is funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)

“Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative” continued on page 3 March 2011, Issue 18


“Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative” continued from page 2

research and evaluation components. CURA Community Liaison Louise Hutton, along with facilitator, Mary Mitchell, led a session on how communities become age-friendly.

The day was a great mix of learning about agefriendly through presentations and participating in group work. It was wonderful to see such an enthusiastic group of new communities, and we wish them well on their journey to becoming more age-friendly!

Age-friendly community day sites and sounds To keep you up-to-date on what happened at the age-friendly communities day, we’re providing some of the sites and sounds from the event. Thank you to Mariam Omar, Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat, for sharing her pictures with us!

(left to right) Connie Newman; CURA staff: Stacy Boone (student), Louise Hutton, and Dawn Veselyuk listen to one of the afternoon presentations

Mary Mitchell facilitates a discussion on what is agefriendly during the orientation meeting on March 17 for the six new age-friendly communities.

Verena Menec (left) and Jim Hamilton (right) show their age-friendly spirit

Louise Hutton discusses CURA’s role in the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative

March 2011, Issue 18


Bringing Age-Friendly to the Communities: New Age-Friendly Web site On March 18, 2011 the Age-Friendly Manitoba (AFM) Web site was officially unveiled. A joint collaboration of the Centre on Aging and Manitoba Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat, the new Web site ( was developed as an online resource centre for age-friendly communities. The new Web site allows AFM communities to chat with one another, see how other AFM communities are progressing, read age-friendly media articles, view community

consultation reports and surveys from other AFM communities, and find age-friendly tools to help their community become more age-friendly. While the primary focus is on AFM communities, the Web site will expand in the near future. It will offer resources for researchers, organizations, and government to learn about the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative. Future additions include a discussion forum allowing anyone interested in age-friendly to “chat online” with others locally, nationally, and internationally; video lectures; and an online newsletter that individuals can subscribe to.

The new Age-Friendly Manitoba Web site is designed primarily for Manitoba age-friendly communities. The Web site will expand to allow age-friendly communities locally, nationally, and internationally to chat online, as well as provide researchers, organizations, and government departments with age-friendly information and resources.


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Centre on Aging Research Forum—Dr. David Butler-Jones On March 11, the Centre on Aging hosted its annual Research Forum Series. The speaker for this year was Dr. David Butler-Jones, the Chief Public Health Officer at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Dr. Butler-Jones discussed the 2010 Report on the State of Public Health in Canada, “Growing Older—Adding Life to Years”. The Report examines the health and well-being of Canadian seniors, including factors that positively or negatively affect healthy aging (such as living conditions, care and services, social connectedness, falls, etc.) and identifies priority areas to foster healthy aging. In his presentation, Dr. Butler-Jones made reference to age-friendly communities and explained that there is “no reason why we can’t design communities that are safe, secure, inclusive, and accessible”. He briefly outlined PHAC’s role in strengthening communities (i.e. ‘partner’, ‘advocate’, ‘cheerlead’, ‘mitigate’, ‘enable’), which is not unlike the ways the CURA tries to assist communities become more agefriendly. Link to see the full version of the report:

2011 Research forum speaker, Dr. David Butler-Jones (left), Centre on Aging Director, Dr. Verena Menec, and Centre on Aging Associate Director, Mr. Jim Hamilton pose for a few photos after the presentation.

“Canada has the knowledge, the means and the skills to improve the health and well-being of Canadian seniors. All Canadians have a role to play in making sure we have the best possible environments for our seniors—and ultimately for all of us—as we live, grow and age.” —Dr. David Butler-Jones “Being socially connected with family and friends and feeling a sense of belonging to a community is important to good health. Creating age-friendly cities and communities and addressing ageism can improve seniors’ social connectedness.” —From the 2010 Report on the State of Public Health in Canada

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Fireside Chat: Age-Friendly Manitoba The Public Healthy Agency of Canada (Division of Aging and Seniors), in collaboration with the Population Health Improvement Research Network (University of Ottawa), host a series of ‘Fireside Chats’ on age-friendly communities. These online national discussion forums allow a variety of individuals (community organizations, government, professionals, students, businesses, etc.) to learn more about what is happening in relation to age-friendly communities across the country.

Judith Simpson, a member of the Pinawa AgeFriendly Advisory Committee, highlighted many examples of projects Pinawa has undertaken to become more age-friendly, such as • intergenerational programs (e.g., “Pen Pal Program” in which local seniors and youth write and exchange letters to each other) • accessibility improvements (e.g., improving entrances to public buildings) • sidewalk improvements • incentives for businesses to become more agefriendly • congregate meal programs

The fireside chat on March 16, 2011, focused on Manitoba’s approach in promoting and fostering the Age-Friendly Initiative. Vicki Toews (Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat) gave a brief overview of the Age-Friendly Manitoba Initiative and discussed some of the current resources being developed for age-friendly communities, such as the new Age-Friendly Resource Team, the new age-friendly website, and the province’s commitment to implementation of age-friendly Milestones.

CURA student Sheila Novek provided an overview of the Photovoice study. Using pictures taken by seniors in the participating communities, she illustrated some of the findings in relation to age-friendly communities and outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, social participation, community support and health services, as well as ‘aging in the north’.

Connie Newman (Executive Director, Manitoba Association of Senior Centres) highlighted many of the opportunities and positive initiatives, as well as some of the challenges, she has encountered in her work with communities and senior centres around the province.


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Community Consultations On February 8, the CURA team traveled to Rosenort and Lowe Farm (both located in the Rural Municipality (R.M.) of Morris) to facilitate two separate community meetings. Both meetings were well attended by members of the community including councilors, town employees, health care workers, retirees, and others, including seniors that have lived in the community all of their lives. After a presentation about age-friendly communities, Rosenort residents were provided lunch and asked to fill out a survey on how age-friendly they feel their community is. Interestingly, all of those who completed the survey agreed that seniors feel safe when walking alone during the day; and none of the participants identified crime and vandalism as a problem in the community. The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing ideas about how to make the community more age-friendly for all ages. Several priorities were identified such as improving access to buildings, adding painted crosswalks, and developing new ways to share community information.

(left) CURA Project Coordinator, Dawn Veselyuk and (right) Community Liaison, Louise Hutton, get ready to facilitate a consultation in the Rural Municipality of West St. Paul.

Later that day, CURA team members facilitated an evening community meeting in nearby Lowe Farm. All participants that completed the survey in this community agreed that seniors here are generally treated with respect. This enthusiastic group offered many ideas to improve their town’s age-friendliness. Some of these include offering more social activities and programs to keep seniors active and engaged, creating handi-cap parking spaces, and adding a walking path to the town’s park. On February 10, a community meeting was held in the R.M. of West St. Paul. The consultation took place during the community’s weekly “AgeFriendly Club” gathering. Participants enjoyed a Valentine’s Day-themed lunch, and then spent the afternoon discussing ways to make their community more age-friendly. The group of 24 residents shared ideas related to road safety, housing needs, and transportation just to name a few. March 2011, Issue 18

Scenes from a community consultation. (top) Community youth fix the outdoor skating rink in the R.M. of Morris. (bottom) The Canadian and R.M. of West St. Paul flags blow in the wind on a sunny day.


WISER IV Study Data collection for the WISER study is now complete. In-person interviews were conducted with 342 community-residing individuals age 65+ between October and January. Participants were asked a variety of questions to better understand changes in health and well-being over time, participation in activities that influence health, and various neighbourhood aspects that impact active aging. Participants were also asked to wear a pedometer, an instrument that measures each step taken, for a 3-day period. Over three-quarters of participants chose to wear a pedometer. Here is a brief snapshot of the study participants: • The average age is 75 years • Slightly over one-half (55%) of the participants are female • Approximately two-thirds of participants are married • One-quarter of participants are widowed • Around 9% live in a household with 2 or more people • One-fifth (20%) reported having received a university degree A methodology report for this study has been written. Once data analysis is complete, participants will receive a summary of study results, and select findings will be shared in upcoming CURA team newsletters.

Manitoba Planning Conference This year’s Manitoba Planning Conference, “Working Together: Partnering for Healthy Sustainable Communities”, was held March 9–11, 2011 in Winnipeg. Hosted by the Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region, this event brought together elected officials, municipal administrators, educators and students, and public and private sector planners. The event involved three days of learning about key issues facing planners in Manitoba today. CURA Co-investigator Richard Milgrom, along with City Planning students from his Studio course, presented some of their work on making Manitoba communities more age-friendly from a planning perspective.

Age-Friendly Communities in the Media R.M. of Macdonald Seniors Reflect on the Past Seniors in the R.M. of Macdonald have been gathering together once a week to share stories about the past. Organized by the Services to Seniors Coordinator, the group discusses specific questions each week, such as the best birthday present they ever received, the worst blizzard or flood they encountered, and how they learned right from wrong. The next step will be to pair the participants with high school students to document their stories. It is great to see communities developing new initiatives to connect the generations!


March 2011, Issue 18