Applied Research

Age-Friendly Sarnia

Age-Friendly Sarnia

Challenge/Opportunity:

The Age-Friendly Sarnia Project will be the first step in creating an age-friendly city. Like the rest of Ontario, the City of Sarnia is getting older. The median age is almost five years older than the provincial average. More people are calling Sarnia home due to the efforts of the Sarnia Lambton Economic Partnership's residents attraction strategy designed to attract older adults from larger cities. The results of those efforts are Sarnia becoming one of the top seven destination to retire according to the Globe & Mail. This is great for Sarnia but it's all happening without a plan. Without a strategy to ensure that the people moving and growing older in the community are living with autonomy and a healthy mind, spirit, and body. The research will involve conducting a community needs assessment with seniors, family members, service providers and the general public to identify gaps and opportunities for seniors. The project and research will be modelled after the "Eight Essential Dimensions of an Age-Friendly Community - outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, social participation, respect and social inclusion, civic participation and employment, communication and information, and community and health services."

Solution/Collaboration:

When the research has been completed, the information will be analyzed and trends will be pulled-out with the goal of creating our age-friendly community action plan. An Age-Friendly Community Summit will be held to introduce the results. The summit will be used to prioritize the recommendations and breakdown the information into action steps and time-lines. The finalized plan will then be presented to City Council for approval and distributed throughout the community.

The outcome of this project will help Sarnia respond to both the opportunities and challenges that face a community with an aging demographic and help produce both long-term and short-term goals that will enhance seniors’ well-being and participation. Once the plan is developed, work will begin to implement and evaluate the activities within the plan.


Funder: Ministry of Ontario - Age-Friendly Community Planning Grant
Researcher: Matthew Hutchinson
Area: Social Science & Community Services

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