Age-Friendly Assessment and Action Plan

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Age-Friendly Assessment and Action Plan

Age Friendly Community Planning

Globally, there is a shift in the demographic make up of the population; the proportion of individuals over 60 years of age is growing faster than any other age group. With this change, comes the need for municipalities to be proactive in their preparation for changing needs in terms of facilities, programs and services, and other amenities. It is increasingly important for communities to support its aging population so that they can continue to enjoy active and healthy lifestyles and that they may comfortably age in place.

What is an Age Friendly Community?

In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched the Global Age-friendly Cities Guide that identified the characteristics of an age friendly city and provided a structure for communities that wanted to become ‘age-friendly’. An Age-Friendly Community considers these eight domains: Community and Health Care, Transportation, Housing, Social Participation, Outdoor Spaces and Buildings, Respect and Social Inclusion, Civic Participation and Employment, and Communication and Information.

Simply, an age-friendly community recognizes the range of capabilities and resources among older people, anticipates and responds to age related needs, respects the decisions and lifestyle choices of the elderly, protects the vulnerable and promotes seniors inclusion in all aspects of community life.

An Age-Friendly Community might include:


  • Outdoor spaces that are pleasant, safe, and accessible
  • Walkways are kept in good condition
  • Health and community support services are available
  • Opportunities for seniors to be socially active
  • Opportunity for volunteer and employment positions
  • Information is easy to find and easy to understand


Local Context

Espanola’s senior population is growing; in fact, the Town has a higher percentage of seniors than the provincial or national average. To best serve this valuable part of the community, the Town is committed to assessing the eight dimensions that are key to active aging; and to creating a plan so that Espanola has a safe and supportive environment both now and in the future.

  % Residents 65+ % Residents 85+
Espanola  25.2 2.9
Ontario  18.5 2.4
Canada  19.0 2.3

Statistics Canada (accessed December 11, 2023)

Age Friendly Planning Process

The following process will be taken to ensure a successful outcome for the Town and its residents, visitors, and businesses.

Phase 1

  • Inventory of Community Dimensions will take place from December to mid-February 
  • Literature Review (e.g., Strategic Plan, Recreation Master Plan, Active Community Charter, etc)
  • One-on-One Interviews
  • Focus Group Session(s)
  • Site Visits / Facility Assessments
  • Program and Service Review
  • Administrative and Budget Review
  • Community Survey

A report will be written in early February and be presented to Council in the same month.

Phase 2

  • Age Friendly Action Plan will be created from mid-February to late March
  • Identify Actions / Solutions
  • Determine Resource Requirements
  • Identify Partners
  • Prioritize Actions and Create Timelines
  • Establish Corporate Communications Strategy
  • Create Tools for Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Draft Plan and Solicit Feedback

The final Age Friendly Plan will be presented to Council before the end of March.

Community Engagement Opportunities 

Key stakeholders in the community will have the opportunity to engage with the consultant through a one-on-one interview and/or participation in a focus group session.  These individuals will be selected as representatives of various areas of expertise, interest and needs within the Town.

Residents will have the opportunity to share their views through participation in a focus group session or by completing the community survey which will be available in January 2024.