Older Adult Plan
Ottawa will continue to invest in older adults as it embarks upon the Older Adult Plan for 2015-2018.
As Deputy Mayor one of my three areas of focus is in developing the OAP Action Plan for 2015-2018. I sit as Mayor Jim Watson’s representative at the Seniors Roundtable and work closely with co-chairs Colleen Hendrick and Councillor Diane Deans.
Following in the successful footsteps of the first Older Adult Plan the second stage will see $500,000 a year allocated to continuing to make Ottawa a more age-friendly city.
Among the strides taken in 2012-2014:
- Pedestrian signal technology was installed at 12 new intersections;
- New benches have been installed in areas of the city with high concentrations of seniors;
- Changes in seniors’ fares were made in 2012 to make transportation more affordable for older adults, such as continued free-ride Wednesdays for individuals 65 and older and removal of the top-up needed for Para-Transpo users 65 and older after 9 a.m.;
- We developed an older adult portal on Ottawa-dot-c-a to serve as a central source of information;
- We created and distributed 6,500 copies of a City of Ottawa Guide to Services and Programs for Older Adults; and
- We brought back into print an Older Adult Activity Guide, exclusively for seniors.
On March 18 the City of Ottawa hosted a public consultation on the next steps the City should take to continue our path toward
improving conditions for older adults.
The results of that consultation were tabled at the June 3 meeting of the Seniors Roundtable.
Some of the actions to be pursued as outlined in the Draft OAP Action Plan 2015-2018 include:
- Improve access to and use of City buildings
- Improve access, features and safety of outdoor spaces
- Increase the application of Age-Friendly principles in the community
- Improve access and features of public transportation
- Improve safety of pedestrians
- Support the housing needs of older adults who are on low income
- Enhance the living conditions of older adults who reside in or use City-operated / subsidized facilities
- Improve the dissemination of and access to municipal information about programs and services
- Develop new or enhance existing health/wellness, recreational, cultural, and social programs targeting older adults
- Develop opportunities to introduce older adults on low income to cultural, recreational, and leisure pursuits
- Enhance equipment, and infrastructure used by older adults at City recreation facilities
- Enhance operational practices and programming
- Increase volunteer opportunities that meet the interests of older adults
- Increase awareness of older adults about volunteer opportunities at the City of Ottawa
- Increase recognition of older City employees
- Enhance well-being and safety promotion/prevention efforts
- Enhance supports for older adults living on low income
- Enhance City of Ottawa Staff awareness about older adult issues and needs
- Foster positive attitudes towards older adults
- Reinforce organizational capacity to ensure that the City is responsive to the needs of older residents
Each of these actions has specific plans that will be carried out and measured by staff in the Strategic Community Initiatives Branch.
The final draft of the OAP Action Plan 2015-2018 will be published at Ottawa.ca as soon as it is complete and approved by Ottawa City Council.
I encourage you to submit any suggestions to my team by writing to me at Mark.Taylor@Ottawa.ca.