World Health Organization declares Brantford an "Age-Friendly City" 

For Immediate Release
Contact: Maria Visocchi, Director, Communications & Community Engagement 
Phone: 519-759-4222 

BRANTFORD, ON – The City of Brantford has officially been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an Age-Friendly City. This recognition, formally received on July 27, 2017, reflects the City's commitment to making Brantford an inclusive and accessible community that enhances opportunities for health, participation and security to ensure a good quality of life and dignity to people as they age. Community-based initiatives such as the Neighbourhood Hubs program, Healthy Brantford, Safe Brantford, and the Digital Inclusion Strategy have also been recognized as innovative platforms for the City to integrate age-friendly considerations into all aspects of community programming and planning. "Becoming an Age-Friendly community is an important part of our Healthy Brantford Strategy," said Mayor Chris Friel. "This recognition highlights the progress we have made in becoming a community of choice for older adults."

Age Friendly
The Digital Inclusion program is one of several initiatives launched by the City as part of its Age-Friendly Strategy

The WHO Age-Friendly Cities initiative began in 2006 when the World Health Organization identified key elements of the urban environment that support active and healthy aging such as access to public transportation, outdoor spaces and buildings, as well as the need for appropriate housing, community support and health services. "We consider the experience of older adults in all aspects of our community planning," said Jo Cupoli-Atanas, General Manager of Public Health, Safety and Social Services. "It is important that people feel they can age in their own community where they're comfortable, have easy access to their social circle, and activities they enjoy. Many of the initiatives that could help seniors have a positive impact on other members of the community as well." Recommendations provided through the support of MPP Dave Levac who, in partnership with the Grand River Council of Aging, hosted eight community 'summits' to help identify opportunities to better support older adults, influenced the aging strategy submitted to the World Health Organization. Brantford's Age-Friendly planning has also been highlighted provincially by the Ontario Municipal Social Services Association, the Ministry of Seniors' Affairs, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario who have identified Brantford as a model to demonstrate best practice in preparing for an aging population.

Upon request, the City will present its Age-Friendly Community Planning approach at the 2017 Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) Annual Conference in Ottawa next week. An update regarding the City's Age-Friendly Strategy will be presented to City Council in fall 2017.