Recognizing the need to cultivate an age-friendly community, the Vernon Seniors Action Network (VSAN) and the City of Vernon are working together to develop Vernon’s first Age- and Dementia-friendly Action Plan.
Age-friendly communities are set up to help seniors live safely, enjoy good health and stay involved. They are places where older people are recognized and respected for their skills, abilities, and contributions.
Dementia-friendly communities are places where people living with dementia and care-partners are also respected, included, and supported. Dementia is not a normal part of aging, but the number of people living with dementia is increasing due to population aging. Fear and stigma can make it very isolating for both the person living with dementia and those who care for them.
All residents are invited to attend an open house on Tuesday, May 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Schubert Centre to share their experiences and ideas on how Vernon can be a more age- and dementia-friendly community.
With support from B.C. Healthy Communities in partnership with the B.C. Ministry of Health, this project aims to create an Action Plan relevant to the specific needs of Vernon that can be integrated into other city plans, policies and programs. It also aims to increase service provider capacity, partnerships, and alignment on shared priorities and resource allocations.
Vernon’s senior population is significantly higher than the national average of 19 per cent (2021 Census). The percentage of seniors in Vernon rose from 23 per cent in 2011 to 28 per cent in 2021 and is expected to continue rising.
A draft Age and Dementia Friendly Community Plan is expected to be presented to council in September.