Seniors are an important and growing segment of the population in Clearwater and the surrounding area, and creating an age-friendly community will allow seniors to remain in the area and help Clearwater maintain its high quality of life.
As a first step in creating an age-friendly community, the District of Clearwater is undertaking a seniors needs assessment. This study will identify the characteristics that will make Clearwater a desirable place for seniors to age in place.
“We want to ensure that we have the services and amenities that will allow seniors living in Clearwater and the surrounding areas to remain here, and that will attract new retirees to the area”, said Leslie Groulx, chief administrative officer for the District of Clearwater. “We know that making Clearwater attractive to seniors will require consideration of a number of factors that will involve the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Our goal is for Clearwater to be a great community for people of all ages and stages of life.”
The seniors’ needs assessment study is being funded through by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Age-Friendly Communities Program and conducted by the Community Development Institute (CDI) at the University of Northern British Columbia.
“Seniors make a tremendous contribution to the community, both socially and economically, which was recognized when the CDI completed the District of Clearwater Community Economic Development Plan in 2011,” said Greg Halseth, director of the CDI. “But you have to ensure that seniors have access to the services and amenities they need, such as housing, health, recreation, transportation, business, and voluntary services. You also have to consider community design and maintenance, ensuring, for example, that sidewalks, parking, pathways, building entrances and interior layouts, and lighting are suitable.”
Based on Statistics Canada data, 100 seniors contribute $3.3 million to the local economy. This includes spending on their homes, including home maintenance, recreational activities, health services and supplies, and food, including restaurant meals. Seniors are also the most significant contributors of volunteer hours in the community.
– Community Development Institute