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Town to get 'age-friendly' recognition

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The Town of Fort Frances has been selected to receive a 2018 Ontario Age-Friendly Community Recognition Award later this month.

The local Age-Friendly Community Committee has been working since late 2016 to gather public input and prepare a four-year action plan outlining recommendations to make Fort Frances more “age-friendly.”

Now committee co-ordinator Ian Simpson has been invited to attend the inaugural Age-Friendly Community (AFC) Symposium in Toronto on March 26, where the award will be presented.

It has been established “to celebrate the work of Ontario communities that are striving to become 'age-friendly' and to showcase promising practices across the province,” Dipika Damerla, the minister responsible for seniors affairs, wrote in a letter to Simpson.

Formal recognition from the province also will enable the town to have access to “streamlined eligibility” for national recognition through the Pan-Canadian AFC Recognition Framework developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).

PHAC's endorsement also will trigger the World Health Organization to invite the town to join its Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities and Communities, Damerla added.

“Congratulations on your achievements, and thank you for your commitment to creating an age-friendly Ontario,” Damerla concluded.

“Your efforts make Ontario a better place for seniors, and help to strengthen our communities and our province.”

Damerla noted “age-friendly” communities are characterized by accessible and inclusive environments, both physical and social, that enable seniors to live independent, healthy and active, safe, and socially-connected lives.

“Communities selected for the award demonstrate a strong commitment to key principles for creating 'age-friendly' communities, including engagement with local seniors, collaboration with a diversity of community partners, and significant impact on the local community,” she explained.

The AFC symposium, the first of its kind in the province, will honour both urban and rural regions, including multicultural and indigenous communities.

Leading experts and community representatives will present their work, and attendees will engage in a number of activities designed to support one another and spark new ideas.

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