History

Late 2009: The Age-Friendly Niagara Initiative was awarded a 3-year grant (2010-2013) from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to promote awareness of World Health Organization (WHO) age-friendly principles, and local action toward making Niagara a more age-friendly community for people of all ages, with a special focus on older adults.

2010: The City of Welland piloted the Age-Friendly Niagara Initiative. A community engagement and action plan was established as a basis for encouraging age-friendly action in all twelve local municipalities in Niagara.

November 2011-April 2012: Twelve roundtable conversations involving over 100 citizens were held across Niagara to help identify priorities for local age-friendly initiatives.

2013: The Age-Friendly Niagara Network (AFNN) was formed to advance and sustain the work of the 3-year Age-Friendly Niagara Initiative. A Network Leadership Council, comprised of community volunteers, oversaw the next steps that would continue the age-friendly journey for Niagara.

November 2013: The Age-Friendly Niagara Network hosted a webinar to share ideas about seeing Niagara through an age-friendly lens.

May 2014: The Toolkit for Becoming an Age-Friendly Niagara was released by the Age-Friendly Niagara Network. This toolkit provides a framework for age-friendly planning within businesses, organizations, and agencies providing services.

May 2014: The Age Friendly Community Collaborative, comprised of the AFNN and several community partner organizations, was awarded a second Ontario Trillium Foundation grant (2014-2015) to conduct a community needs assessment and to facilitate the development of an aging strategy and action plan for Niagara.

June 2014: Focus groups were conducted with over 200 seniors in 14 locations across Niagara to obtain insights into the needs of older adults and on possible future directions.

September 2014: Over 100 Niagara residents attended a Community Stakeholder Forum, which was held to inform next steps in the development of the Niagara Aging Strategy. In addition, input was received through interviews with key informants and a discussion paper was produced for community feedback.

January 2015: An implementation planning workshop was held with over 40 people contributing to the affirmation of the emerging goals, objectives and strategies and to the articulation of potential actions, deliverable and possible partners.

June 2015: Launch of the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan. This community-driven plan includes five overarching goals with multiple strategies. One of the companion documents, the Implementation Template, articulates over 100 possible action steps and potential community partners,as identified by the participants from the community consultations. Another companion document, the Toolkit, is a summary of resources designed to support the advancement of an age-friendly community.

June 2015 – May 2017: The AFNN Leadership council, with the addition of other community partners, formed an Implementation Committee to oversee the next steps in implementing the Aging Strategy and Action Plan. Volunteer Community Champions were recruited to begin the process of implementing each of the five goals. Colunteers from the Committee made presentations to the local municipal councils to present the Aging Strategy and Action Plan, to emphasize the social and economic benefits created by the older adults in their community and to identify possible next steps for the municipality to become more age-friendly.

May 2017: The AFNN Collaborative was awarded a third Ontario Trillium Foundation grant for 28 months to advance the implementation of the Niagara Aging strategy and Action Plan’s five goals and to build a sustainability plan to ensure the ongoing development of an age-friendly Niagara.

To learn more, read the Niagara Aging Strategy and Action Plan or About Us.