City’s Age-Friendly Committee presents information about its numerous activities

The City of Fredericton Community Services Committee has received an impressive presentation about the past two years of activities by the City’s Age-Friendly Community Advisory Committee, as provided by committee vice-chair, Pam Campbell.

This included the completion of a comprehensive seniors’ survey, an Annual Spring Into Wellness Fair, the award-winning Prime Time Volunteer Program, and the “Let’s Get Connected” Directory of Services and Activities for Seniors. A major accomplishment also took place in October 2019 when the city received the official Age-Friendly Designation from the Province of New Brunswick.

The group is also working on a project to tackle the problem of isolation and loneliness in the city. This is recognized as a global issue.  It is a priority for the group moving forward and they are currently working closely with Saint Thomas University, Meals on Wheels and other partners and have been successful in obtaining MITAC funding to assist in research, best practices, and potential interventions.

Fredericton City Councillor, Eric Megarity, who chairs the committee, said, “This committee does important work representing the seniors’ perspective to the City of Fredericton. Close to 30% of the city is over 50 years of age, and this group, through its various networks and organizations, represents in excess of 5,000 seniors.”

The advisory committee has provided input to the city on upwards of 15 items. The group is particularly proud of its role in the new High Priority Disaster Response Registry.1 Feedback was also given to the City on the Transit, Parks and Municipal plans and other city projects.  The committee has also expressed concern to the City on lack of parking in downtown Fredericton and a shortage of park benches.

A monthly bulletin has been distributed to the committee with information important for seniors provided by members.  It is then shared through their extensive networks and organizations to expand the distribution. Despite this, the committee has identified significant communications challenges in getting information to seniors.

Over 20 outside groups sought input from the committee over the past two years on matters varying from affordable housing, York Sunbury Search and Rescue, the Fredericton Trails Coalition, the development of technology solutions for seniors, and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CHMC) adaptable and accessible housing.

Staying informed was an important aspect for the group with over 15 groups or individuals presenting to the committee on matters of interest to seniors. Partnership was identified as key to the group success and they have worked closely with Greater Fredericton Social Innovation, Stepping Stone Senior Centre Inc., Association des aînés de la Capitale pour l’apprentissage et le mieux-être, and others.

The committee will continue to provide the City with a senior lens on civic matters, engage the senior community, improve communications, work with partners, and engage the business community to better serve seniors.

Information on the Committee:

The role of the committee is to advise the City of Fredericton on matters affecting the quality of life of seniors, to provided consultation and insight from a seniors’ perspective on city programs and infrastructure, and to encourage dialogue within the community on civic matters directly affecting seniors.

Fredericton City councillor, Eric Megarity chairs the committee, which meets the first Monday of the month at City Hall. It is made up of 20 dedicated individuals with a wide range of professional and life experience and represents 15 organizations in the city. It is estimated the group embodies the voices of 5,000 plus seniors.

Priority areas of focus, as per the guidelines of the Age-Friendly designation, include outdoor spaces, building and housing, transportation, social inclusion and engagement, employment, communications and information, health services, and community support. 

Age-Friendly is a movement initiated by the World Health Organization in 2006 And adopted in Canada in 2007.