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World Health Organization Recognizes Edmonton as ‘Age-friendly City’

World Health Organization recognizes Edmonton as Age-Friendly City

June 24, 2011

The City of Edmonton’s commitment to seniors has been recognized by the World Health Organization. Edmonton is one of four Canadian cities granted membership into the WHO’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities.

“Membership in this international network is a testament to the City of Edmonton’s commitment to seniors,” said Councillor Linda Sloan, who leads City Council’s seniors portfolio. “We are dedicated to making Edmonton a city where seniors are connected to communities, respected and valued.”

According to Statistics Canada, seniors are the fastest growing segment of Edmonton’s population, especially those over age 85. By 2025, nearly 20 per cent of Canadians will be age 65 or older compared to 13.7 per cent in 2006.

As part of its commitment to creating an age-friendly Edmonton, the City joined the Edmonton Seniors Coordinating Council, the United Way of Alberta Capital Region, community groups and Edmonton seniors to create the Vision for an Age-Friendly Edmonton Action Plan. The plan sets out goals and actions in nine strategic areas based on the WHO Global Age-Friendly Cities Guidelines.

“The action plan provides a strong framework for improving the lives of Edmonton’s seniors and strengthening the communities in which they live,” said Sheila Hallett, executive director of ESCC. “We encourage other community groups, stakeholders and businesses to consider the action plan and help shape our community to be more inclusive to the needs of our aging population.”

The ESCC will form teams with representation from key stakeholder groups to promote, guide, encourage and oversee progress on the Vision for an Age Friendly Action Plan. Progress will be reported annually by ESCC.

The action plan is one of three documents that outline Edmonton’s commitment and strategy to be an age-friendly city. Last year, City Council approved the first-in-Canada Edmonton Seniors Declaration, which describes how seniors and aging are valued, and released Edmonton Seniors: A Portrait, a description of the contributions, needs and interests of Edmonton’s seniors.

The City of Edmonton has implemented several initiatives to better support seniors in Edmonton. These include assisted waste collection; Seniors on the Go program to help seniors feel comfortable, confident, and safe using Edmonton Transit System; recreation centres and leisure programs; support groups and an elder abuse prevention program.


For more information:

Brenda Wong

Title Seniors Coordinator, Community Services