In 2010, the Social Planning Council of Cambridge and North Dumfries (SPCCND), with funding from New Horizons, undertook a participatory-action needs assessment to identify areas of concern for seniors in the community. Based on the findings of the needs assessment the SPCCND has facilitated a community-based initiative to transform Cambridge into an age friendly community.
The two year project consisted of intensive community consultations by five priority-specific committees led by representatives from the Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre, the Self Help Food Bank, Community Support Connections, City of Cambridge, and Saint Luke’s Place and made up of over 60 engaged community members in order to develop key recommendations for various levels of government and service providers.
The five priorities were housing, respect & social inclusion, community & health supports, transportation, and information. The majority of the committee chairs and project volunteers were seniors.
The Age Friendly Cambridge project is coming to an end in the fall of 2013 and the participants are interested in continuing to work together. The concept of a Council on Aging was proposed by seniors volunteering on the Age Friendly Initiative as a vehicle for them to continue working together. In their discussions with other communities involved with age friendly initiatives they became aware of active Councils on Aging throughout Ontario that were raising awareness and advocating for change in their communities.
The Council on Aging will be a forum for seniors and community members to mobilize and work together to make Cambridge an age friendly community. This will involve promoting change by increasing the civic involvement of seniors and raising the awareness on the concerns of older adults throughout the community.
Visit the Age Friendly Website for more information