With the summer soon approaching in Ontario, Canada, many citizens look forward to increased time spent outdoors. Unfortunately, this may prove challenging for many older adults who live in a city or community that is still undergoing “age-friendly” initiatives.
The opinion piece written by Kim Sawchuk, Meghan Joey and Shannon Hebblethwaite for the Montreal Gazette discusses the important gaps between well-intentioned age-friendly policies and the lived reality for older citizens. Montreal has been recognized for its age-friendly initiatives and is a member of the WHO’s Global Network for Age-Friendly Cities and Communities (GNAFCC) as of 2017. However, gaps between policy and best practice can always remain a concern.
The authors argue that ongoing discussions and consultations with older people and resources dedicated to age-friendly policy are needed to ensure they are truly making a positive impact on older people in the community.
Contact IFA Expert and Board member Prof. Suzanne Garon to learn how the adoption of age-friendly policies can be translated to reality. Since 2006, Prof. Garon has been involved in the WHO Age Friendly Cities Project and research to implement and evaluate the Age Friendly Cities in seven Quebec communities, including the city of Montreal.
Additionally, consider attending the IFA’s 15th Global Conference on Ageing “Rights Matter” in 2020 which will feature age-friendly environments as a key theme, and will host a pre-conference summit dedicated to the topic.
Prof. Suzanne Garon Professor
Ph. D. in Sociology (Frankfurt, Germany, 1992) is a full professor at the School of Social Work of the University of Sherbrooke