Caring for Seniors

The ‘Age-Friendly Community’ Project

The initial needs assessment: In 2010-2011, Osprey commissioned an assessment (see links below) of the needs and priorities of local seniors so that the Foundation could be more effective in allocating money it has available for granting each year. The report was written by Dr. Janice Murphy, a local research consultant with a broad background in seniors’ issues, after broad community consultation with local seniors, seniors’ organizations and the general public. The initiative was supported, in part, by the City of Nelson, RDCK Area E and Columbia Basin Trust.

The recommendations coming out of the assessment supported the basic desire for seniors’ independence and the choice to live in one’s own home.

The ‘Age-Friendly Community’ project: Osprey then solicited proposals from interested organizations to take the results of this assessment and put something on the ground to achieve positive results for seniors. This successful proponent would work with the broader community to develop a service model and implement a plan of action to improve what currently exists for seniors in this area. The plan could involve new services or better coordination and promotion of existing services. It would be about both on-the- ground service delivery and putting into place a long-term, sustainable strategy to serve seniors and make this a more senior-friendly community. This three-year, $270,000 project is jointly funded by the community foundation and Community Basin Trust.

In mid-2012 Osprey contracted with Nelson CARES Society to do this work. Nelson CARES has since been working to achieve the following goals:

  • build a model of community collaboration
  • further distil and develop the Priority Areas established in the initial report
  • identify project/program opportunities in the community based on these
  • develop, fund and launch ne or more projects/programs that address these priorities

Its research and community outreach activities have identified eight overarching priorities. Under each of these priority areas are a number of priority issues (such as a deficiency, barrier or gap in existing services).

  1. Community Support & Health Services
  2. Housing Supply & Services
  3. Transportation
  4. Social Participation Opportunities
  5. Outdoor Spaces & Public Facilities
  6. Respect & Social Inclusion
  7. Communication & Information
  8. Civic Participation & Employment Opportunities

Early in the project an Advisory Committee was formed, comprised of representatives of key organizations. This group guides the project. Nelson CARES hired Project Coordinator Corrine Younie.

Identifying priorities: The eight Priority Areas were narrowed to three:

  1. Community Support & Health Services
  2. Transportation Services
  3. Communication & Information Services

Using information from a community resource inventory and mapping to further drill down into the priority issues, looking at criteria such as

  • issue is urgent
  • isssue could be easily integrated with existing services
  • solutions will strengthen community capacity
  • solutions will build on existing resources
  • solutions will address at least one identified priority issue (preferably multiple issues)

The Advisory Committee has now identified a project/program that they are ready to implement. We are looking forward to the announcement! The program will be administered by Nelson CARES with input from the Advisory Committee and funding from Osprey/CBT. The pilot project will be monitoried by the Advisory Committee and evaluated to measure program outcomes.

You can learn more about the Age-Friendly’ Community project through a short presentation that Nelson CARES will be giving at the Osprey Community Foundation AGM on June 20, 7 pm at Prestige Lakeside (Kootenay Salon).