The Age-Friendly Cities initiative, started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2006, was designed to optimize the health, participation and security of older adults throughout the course of aging. This is achieved by encouraging communities to adapt structures and services that increase accessibility and inclusion. An Age-Friendly city focuses on its social and physical environments with respect to a mix of land-use, street connectivity, access to green spaces, and neighbourhood aesthetics to promote healthy aging as well as maintaining social ties to family and friends. Age-Friendly cities offer benefits for the entire population in retaining a sense of attachment, familiarity, and identity of home and environment. Since 2009, the BC Ministry of Health, in partnership with the Union of BC Municipalities, has funded Age-Friendly projects in over 120 communities across the province.
The City retained Cardea Health Consulting to carry out an Age-Friendly Assessment of the City of Quesnel.
Building on a comprehensive community wide, general ‘Housing Needs Assessment, Gap Analysis and Action Plan, 2019’ commissioned by the City and the CRD, which determined that the community must ‘prepare for anticipated growth in population aged 65 and over’, the North Cariboo Seniors’ Council partnered with the City of Quesnel to secure a UBCM grant to determine the demand and supply of housing suitable for seniors across all socio-economic levels. The seniors’ council has strong support for this initiative from the City, Northern Health, and the Cariboo Regional District.
This report summarizes the results of this senior housing assessment and provides a case for funding agencies, private developers and the community to support a range of housing options that will address current and future housing needs of all seniors, regardless of income.