Age-Friendly Niagara Network flag raised across Niagara to mark Seniors’ Month

Municipalities across the region plan to raise flag bearing the words ‘A Community for All Ages’

NEWS Jun 03, 2020 by Nick Fearns

Municipalities across Niagara are raising the new Age-Friendly Niagara Network flag in recognition of Seniors’ Month.

Age-Friendly Niagara Network (AFNN) is a volunteer-led organization advocating to ensure that all people, regardless of age, ability, need or capacity, are included in all aspects of community life.

The theme for 2020 is “Aging Strong: Respect and Protect Seniors.” The year marks the 36th anniversary of Seniors’ Month in Ontario.

In recognition of Seniors’ Month, the AFNN Leadership Council has endorsed two flag options available to the 12 municipalities in Niagara. The first option includes the AFNN logo and the second option has this logo plus a municipal or local age-friendly or seniors’ organization logo side by side.

Both options include the phrase “A Community for All Ages,” with the French translation available. That it is one of the organization’s mottos.

“The Age-Friendly Niagara Flag symbolizes the Niagara region and its 12 local municipalities as a community for all ages, optimizing opportunities for overall well-being to enhance quality of people’s lives as they age,” said Dominic Ventresca, AFNN Leadership Council co-chair.

“The flag can be flown in June, Seniors’ Month in Ontario; on (National) Seniors Day (Oct. 1); during age-friendly or at seniors’ events in the community — such as flag-raising ceremonies to increase the awareness and visibility of local age-friendly initiatives,” said Jean D’Amelio Swyer, AFNN flag champion and member of the Thorold Age-Friendly Committee.

West Lincoln raised the flag in the first week of June. The Niagara Region has also raised the flag. Ventresca said the other municipalities have plans to raise the flag, but in some cases, the committees who handle these sorts of issues have been unable to meet.

“On behalf of council, I am proud to see the Age-Friendly flag raised at regional headquarters to recognize the many contributions our seniors make to their communities throughout Niagara,” said regional chair Jim Bradley.

“During these extraordinary times, it is more important than ever to call or video chat with the older adults in your life to thank them for their service and for being part of our community,” said Bradley.

AFNN encourages policies that consider and incorporate the needs of older adults in their decision-making strategies. They do this by focusing on residents’ entire lifespan, so that benefits and opportunities are accessible to people of all ages in the population. This aligns with the World Health Organization’s eight dimensions of community functionality.

Ventresca said people could help by checking out seniors in their neighbourhoods and seeing if they need any help or support.

“They would really welcome people reaching out,” said Ventresca.

He said social isolation can affect seniors, especially now with physical distancing rules.

With people becoming more aware of the issues involving long-term care homes, Ventresca hopes raising awareness will bring up changes to improves the lives of current of future residents.

To learn more about AFNN visit their website at