Community Profile

Name of Community: Brantford 
Name of Committee: City of Brantford and Grand River Council on Aging
Population: 104,688 (2021)
Contact:

Funding:

  • Municipal one-time funding
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant
  • Other grant
  • Fundraising
  • New Horizons for Seniors Program
  • Seniors Community Grant

Both the City of Brantford – via the Healthy Aging Plan – and the Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) seek funding to plan and implement age-friendly projects. The Healthy Aging Plan has resulted in the City Council dedicated $100,000 in municipal funding to launch pilot projects to implement the municipal age-friendly plan. The City also secured funding from the Ministry of Seniors Affairs in 2017 to conduct a study to investigate barriers seniors face when voting in a municipal election. The City of Brantford has also received the New Horizons for Seniors Project in 2022 and 2023, as well as the Seniors Community grant in 2021 and 2023.

The GRCOA has received funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Brant Community Foundation, City of Brantford Grants, County of Brant Operation Grants, and an Enterprise Brant start-up grant. They have not received New Horizon grants as they have not been eligible in the past. The GRCOA received Charitable Status in 2017 and tested out two fund-raising events, including TACO Fest, which will be their annual fundraiser. They also plan to launch a charitable appeal campaign as they now can provide charitable receipts for individual donations. Covering staff expenses has been a noted challenge for the Grand River Council on Aging. Their municipal grants cover their insurance and office supplies. An in-kind arrangement with the Grand River Community Health Centre provides office space, telephone, internet, and meeting room space.

This profile was updated in November 2023.

 

Age-Friendly Program Description

The Grand River Council on Aging has made a commitment to creating an age-friendly city a priority in partnership with the City of Brantford, the County of Brant, and Six Nations of the Grand River. As part of the community age-friendly planning process, the three communities held the Age-Friendly Community Summit Series, which resulted in the final Community Impact Report.

Based on the recommendations from the Community Impact Report, the City of Brantford has published Healthy Aging: The City of Brantford Age-Friendly Plan.

The Age-Friendly Plan was drafted in consultation with public input from over 700 older adults reached through the summit series, focus groups, and surveys, and outlines tangible recommendations for the City of Brantford to maintain and enhance the quality of life for its aging population.

Milestones to date include:

Age-Friendly Community Summit Series – The Age-Friendly Community Summit Series consisted of eight forums, each one focusing on one of the World Health Organization’s eight dimensions of an Age-Friendly Community to identify the needs of older adults and monitor changes in the community. Summit participants included older adults, caregivers, service providers, and staff from the City of Brantford, the County of Brant, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Community Impact Report – The Age Friendly Community Summit Series findings were summarized in the report “Creating an Age-Friendly Community: Community Impact Report” (published by the Grand River Council on Aging), which aims to be a catalyst for action with over 600 recommendations for the community; municipal, provincial, and national governments; non-profits; and the private sector as they prepare for an aging population.

The City of Brantford reviewed all recommendations, published the Healthy Aging Strategy, and dedicated $100,000 of funding annually for three years that would provide resources for innovative one-time initiatives directly related to the deliverables of this municipal plan.

The Healthy Aging Plan has 24 quantitative indicators and 73 recommendations.

The focus now is on launching new initiatives and evaluating their impact, including the following:

Healthy Aging Passport – provided over 165 social, recreational, physical and educational programs for older adults over the months of June to September 2023, to decrease social isolation and increase community building and social connections.

Bridging the Gap – an intergenerational series, where older adults are invited to volunteer their time to become mentors for youth, sharing their skills and knowledge with the younger generation.

Let’s Get Moving! – a comprehensive campaign to educate seniors on the importance of physical activity as one ages, including 20 different hands-on programs in October 2023.

Safer Spaces Training – aims to reduce harassment, hostility, and discrimination towards LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Two-Spirit +) people in Brantford/Brant County through raising awareness and creating change through education.

Current and Completed AFC Projects, Programs and Initiatives

Outdoor Spaces and Public Buildings

  • Audible Crossing and extended crosswalk times

Transportation

  • Let’s Get Moving! (transportation campaign to educate seniors on different modes of transportation available, including public transit, cycling, and walking)
  • Seniors Ride the buss for free – Seniors Month

Housing

  • Seniors’ Affordable Housing (New 57-unit seniors’ affordable apartment building)

Social Participation

  • Digital Literacy Training (Training to residents, Digital Inclusion portfolio – Take a laptop and instructor to seniors and teach them how to video call their family, development of a Cyber Lounge in the LTC facility that includes ipads and laptops, trained volunteers)
  • Neighbourhood Hub Programming (Older adults have access to programs and services, such as crockpot cooking for one, container cooking, seniors safety and fraud training, blood pressure clinics, food giveaways, and AED training)
  • Senior Program Inventory and Mapping
  • Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities (NORCs) (provides activity in buildings with high densities of older adults and will provide weekly programs for seniors at three sites within Brantford.)
  • Healthy Living Campaign (Campaign to encourages older adults to stay active and build meaningful social connections)
  • Intergenerational Taco Fest (Annual fundraiser)
  • Let’s Get Moving (At Home)
  • Seniors Centre Without Walls
  • Intergenerational “BUZZME” program
  • Healthy Aging Passport
  • National Nutrition Month Series

Respect & Social Inclusion

  • Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Program (Several programs to bring together students and seniors in retirement homes and neighbourhood hubs)
  • Seniors Column in Newspaper (Partnership with Brant News to have a weekly column that focuses on seniors)
  • Elder Abuse Strategy
  • Elder Abuse Service Provider Protocol Training 
  • Seniors Toolkit 
  • Let’s Learn Together Series
  • Intergenerational Autobiography Writing Project (Partnership with Laurier-Brantford University for 16 week program with 16 senior (4/5 yr) writing students and 16 community retirees)
  • Safer Space Training (Reduce harassment, hostility, and discrimination towards LGBTQ2S+ people through raising awareness and creating change through education)
  • New Years Welcome Day (New years welcoming to Brantford for all new community members to make them feel welcome)

Civic Participation & Employment

  • Graduate Brantford
  • Lifelong Learning Week
  • Bridging the Gap (Mentorship program)

Community Support & Health Services

  • Healthy Brantford (Agencies from health/social services system and interested community members are developing Action Tables to improve health of residents, using community index of well-being)
  • Safe Brantford (Consumer protection workshops for seniors)
  • Seniors Mental Health Training
  • Para-Medicine Health Support (Paramedics attend 2 seniors apartment buildings regularly to provide medical service on-site)

Communications & Information

  • Seniors Discount Directory (for online and in-store shopping)