A new initiative from the City of Grande Prairie aims to ensure all seniors in the community are cared for. 

The initiative, Aging Well Together, will begin with a series of open houses from Jan. 22 to 26, where older adults, seniors, service providers and other community members will engage in discussions and activities focusing on aging well in Grande Prairie.

“We really want participants to be able to share their personal stories and experiences,” said Anna Stewart, city Home Support co-ordinator. 

She said it could include “where have they accessed resources and services, and what’s worked really well, or are there areas that might have something lacking, and they’re looking for additional support.”

The senior population in Grande Prairie is expected to grow by 92 per cent by 2043, said the city in a news release; currently 19 per cent of the city’s population is over the age of 55.

Stewart said the conversations will cover various topics, including challenges seniors face with technology, overall wellness, and what recreation services they use and could use. 

She said the city hopes to gather information on seniors accessing resources from one service and then move to another to find out what gaps there may be and how best to bridge those gaps. 

Stewart said local agencies are also included in the conversation to have their input and what they hear from their clients. 

“Our community is at its best when we come together to support every member, regardless of age,” said Mayor Jackie Clayton. 

“The Aging Well Together initiative is a testament to our commitment to creating an environment where everyone, especially our seniors, can thrive.”

Stewart said the sessions are an important proactive approach to the aging population in the city so that when there are more seniors, the resources will be established to help those who need it. 

A survey will be released this month for community members to provide feedback and suggestions for the initiative.

Stewart said she also encourages people to phone or email her if they can’t make the public open houses but want to share their input. Her contact information can be found at engage.cityofgp.com/agingwell.

“We want to make sure that we accommodate everybody,” she said.

The information gathered will then be presented to city council to decide what needs to be done next.

The in-person sessions will have door prizes drawn for participants, and two gift cards will be awarded to online survey participants. 

Public open houses will be on Jan. 23 at 1:30-3:30 p.m. and 6-7:30 p.m. at the Golden Age Centre, and on Jan. 25 at 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Eastlink Centre.

For more information on the survey and public sessions, go to engage.cityofgp.com/agingwell. 

By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jan 11, 2024 at 10:11

This item reprinted with permission from   Town & Country News   Beaverlodge, Alberta

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