On October 24, 2012, City Council approved an Older Adult Plan (OAP) which presents a forward-looking and coordinated approach to addressing the specific and evolving needs of Ottawa’s older residents.
The number of seniors living in Ottawa will more than double over the next 20 years. By 2031, it is predicted that seniors will make up 22 per cent of the Ottawa population. This means that more than one in five residents will be over the age of 65.
Like many other large municipalities in Canada and around the world, the City of Ottawa is responding to these demographic changes and has embarked on a process to make Ottawa a more age-friendly city.
Eight strategic areas
The OAP introduces a long-term vision of a community that values, empowers, and supports older persons and their quality of life. It also presents 74 concrete actions organized under eight strategic areas:
- Outdoor spaces and City buildings
- Communication and information
- Social, Recreational, and cultural participation
- Civic participation and volunteering
- Community supports and health services
- Respect and social inclusion
Actions contained in the plan will be implemented between 2012 and 2014 and the plan will be refreshed in 2015.
Accomplishments to date
Many actions have been implemented since the adoption of the plan by City Council. Here are a few highlights of the accomplishments in 2012-2013:
- Over 400 low income older adults with urgent dental needs received free dental screening and/or free access to dental treatments;
- New pedestrian signal technology was installed at six signalized intersections, in areas of the city with high concentrations of seniors;
- Five additional community locations with regular Ottawa Public Health (OPH) programming were established;
- A Community Connect Training program was launched, where individuals in the community are being trained to identify and refer older adults who appear to be isolated and refer them to appropriate services;
- Two editions of an older adult guide of social, recreational, and cultural programs (Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter) were printed and distributed;
- An older adult web portal on the City of Ottawa web site was created as a central point of information on programs and services of interest to older adults; the web site also features new and improved search functions for recreation programs and volunteer opportunities;
- Several automatic power doors and washroom grab bars were installed in various City buildings highly frequented by older adults;
- Twenty-one benches were installed on sidewalks, in areas of the city with large numbers of senior residents;
- A computer and internet training program for older adults was developed and is being delivered by staff at the Ottawa Public Library;
- A CPR basic training program specifically designed for older adults was developed and implemented at six community-based locations across the city;
- Grit boxes were installed in ten additional locations in areas densely populated by seniors, and an awareness campaign was developed and implemented;
- Funding for the Taxi Coupon program was increased by $100,000 in 2013 and promotion for the program was enhanced through a variety of means;
- A City of Ottawa Guide to Services and Programs for Older Adults was created, posted on Ottawa.ca and distributed to vulnerable older adults;
- Four large resource fairs of municipal programs and services targeting older adults (Meet Your City Services events) were held at various locations in the city.
The Older Adult Plan is the product of extensive background research and consultations with Ottawa older adults. Reports summarizing the research, demographic and consultations findings can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Older Adult Plan [ PDF - 3.1 MB ].