The Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program
2022 Conference - Inspiring Inclusive Communities in Ontario: Moving age-friendly insights, innovations and strategies into action
Date: March 22 – 24, 2022
Time: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm each day (Eastern time zone)
Location: Online via Zoom and Slack
Registration: Registration is closed and the conference has concluded.
Target Audience: Age-Friendly Community Initiatives in Ontario, Planners, Implementers, Researchers, Academics and Policy Makers.
Content: The age-friendly movement has been gaining momentum in Ontario for over a decade. This is an opportune time to bring together the perspectives of age-friendly community implementers, policy-makers, planners and researchers to reflect upon the lessons learned and respond to emerging challenges. As we move into the next decade, we’re challenged to consider: How do we broaden our work to be more inclusive? Who has been left out of the conversation? What partnerships are needed? What does the future look like for an age-friendly Ontario?
This virtual conference explored these questions, highlighted strategies to strengthen local planning, implementation and sustainability and showcased innovative age-friendly strategies.
This three-day event was split into themed morning sessions:
- Inclusive communities
- Community planning
- Innovation in action
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Conference Day 1: Recordings and Resources
Session 1: Welcome and Keynote
After a welcome from the conference hosts and Hon. Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, a short video was shown of older adults sharing how they like to spend their time. Then, the keynote speaker discussed age-friendly communities as an approach to healthy aging, and its alignment with current global initiatives.
Speakers: Dr. Jane Barratt, International Federation on Ageing
- Creating a more inclusive Ontario: age-friendly community planning guide for municipalities and community organizations (Ontario Provincial Govenrment)
- World report on ageing and health (World Health Organization)
Session 2: Diverse Populations
Speakers explored topics of equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as Francophone, 2SLGBTQI+, and BIPOC older adults, in the context of age-friendly communities.
Speakers: Dr. Tamara Daly, Michel Tremblay, Dr. Arne Stinchcombe and Randa Higazy
Video available here
- Addressing Age Equity – Dr. Tamara Daly
- Aging in community: A focus on older LGBTQ2S+ Canadians – Arne Stinchcombe
- Building Inclusive Age-Friendly Communities: Challenges and Opportunities in Mental Health Programs for Racial and Ethnocultural Older Adults in Canadian Cities – Randa Higazy
- Fédération Des Aînés Et Des Retraités Francophones De L’Ontario (FAFO) – Michel Tremblay
- The Diverse Experiences in Aging Research (DEAR) Collaborative
- Funding opportunities (Sagelink)
- Support for Interpretation and Translation — Promotion of Linguistic Duality (Government of Canada)
- Plouffe, L. A., & Kalache, A. (2011). Making communities age friendly: state and municipal initiatives in Canada and other countries. Gaceta Sanitaria, 25, 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2011.11.001
- World Health Organization. (n.d.). The who age-friendly cities framework – age-friendly world. World Health Organization. Retrieved October 13, 2021, from https://extranet.who.int/agefriendlyworld/age-friendly-cities-framework/
- Southeastern Minnesota Area Agency on Aging (SMAAA) (n.d.) [Age-friendly Communities]. SMAAA. https://semaaa.org/funding-community/age-friendly-communities/
- Menec, V. H., Means, R., Keating, N., Parkhurst, G., & Eales, J. (2011). Conceptualizing age-friendly communities. Canadian Journal on Aging, 30(3), 479-93. Doi: http://dx.doi.org.subzero.lib.uoguelph.ca/10.1017/S0714980811000237
- Stinchcombe, A. & Wilson, K. (2021). Aging in the LGBTQ2+ Community. Rootman, I., Edwards., P., Grunberg, F., & Levasseur, M (Eds). Health Promotion and Older Adults in Canada. Canadian Scholars: Toronto.
- QMUNITY. (2015). Aging Out: Moving towards queer and trans* competent care for seniors. https://qmunity.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/AgingOut.pdf
- Herman, L., Walker, R., & Rosenberg, M. W. (2021). An age-friendly city?: LGBTQ and frail older adults. In M. Hartt, S. Biglieri, M. W. Rosenberg, & S. E. Nelson (Eds.), Aging People, Aging Places: Experiences, Opportunities, and Challenges of Growing Older in Canada (1st ed., pp. 89–108). Bristol University Press. https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1h0p58s
Session 3: How can older adults be included in the conversation?
Panelists discussed their perspectives on the question ‘How can older
adults be included in the conversation?’.
Speakers: Mirella Palermo, Dr. John Puxty, Dr. Caroline Bergeron and Laura Tamblyn Watts
Moderator: Trèva Cousineau
Video available here
- Global report on ageism (World Health Organization)
- Engagement of older adults in regional health innovation: The ECOTECH concept mapping project (SAGE Open Medicine)
- Policy book: A Roadmap to an Age-Inclusive Canada (CanAge)
- How and Why Modern Employers Should Embrace Longevity (AARP International)
- CanAge Free Membership
Conference Day 2: Recordings and Resources
Session 4: International Strategies, AFC Planning & Evaluation Framework, and Citizen Science
A short video was shown of older adults sharing their perspective on the key ingredients to aging well. Presentations on Age-Friendly Ireland’s national strategy, Ontario’s planning and evaluation framework, and a citizen science initiative in Australia, followed.
Speakers: Louise Edmonds, Mairead Cranley, Sarah Webster and Dr. Helen Barrie
- National Age Friendly Ireland Programme: A Shared Service Function of Local Government – Louise Edmonds and Mairead Cranley
- Creating a More Inclusive Ontario: Age-Friendly Community Planning Guide for Municipalities and Community Organizations – Sarah Webster
- Using Citizen Science to Improve Age Friendly Worlds – Dr. Helen Barrie
- Age-Friendly Ireland international webinar series video recordings
- Age Friendly Cities Audit Tool
- Age-Friendly Ontario
- Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Planning Guide
- Diverse Populations Addendum
- Age-Friendly Community Planning Toolkit
- Citizen Science Portal (Government of Canada)
- For any age-friendly questions in Ontario, please contact the Knowledge Broker, Lisa Brancaccio, by phone 1-844-276-5756 or email email@example.com
Session 5: Partnerships & Strategic Alignment
Panelists explored how partnerships and strategic alignment can mobilize and strengthen age-friendly community initiatives.
Speakers: Andrea Austen, Bonnie Schroeder, Rebecca Johnson and Lucy Marco
Moderator: Dr. Linda Garcia
Session 6, 7 & 8: Concurrent Sessions
These interactive breakout session enabled conference attendees from age-friendly community initiatives in rural, remote, and small town settings; mid-sized and large cities, as well as age-friendly aligned organizations to discuss opportunities and challenges unique to them.
Facilitators: Amber Colibaba, Michelle Dellamore, and Dominic Ventresca
- Rural Aging Research Program (Trent University)
- The secret to living longer may be your social life (TED Talk)
- What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness (TED Talk)
- Third Age Network Learning Groups
- Village to Village Network
- Ottawa Community Partnership for Health Equity
- June 1st Webinar: Age Interrupted; How to Become Anti-Ageist (Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County)
Conference Day 3: Recordings and Resources
Session 9: Built Environment and Personal Health and Well-Being Showcase
A short video of older adults discussing how their communities can help them remain healthy was shown. Then, age-friendly strategies that target the built environment (i.e. housing, transportation and outdoor spaces), and personal health and wellbeing (i.e. communication & information, and community support & health services) were showcased.
Speakers: Dr. Catherine Donnelly, Jackie Tanner, Jana Ray, Amy Weiler, Tracy Gibbs and Jayne Culbert
- Building age friendly NORCs to support health and well being – Dr. Catherine Donnelly
- Canada HomeShare: Intergenerational social work facilitated homesharing – Jackie Tanner
- F.A.S.T. Track Canada: A national snapshot of age-friendly transportation – Jana Ray
- Adopt-a-Driveway – Amy Weiler
- Evaluation and communication in age-friendly Hamilton: A suite of practical approaches and tools in the implementation of the plan – Tracy Gibbs
- Be Prepared Project: Organize for the future you want for yourself – Jayne Culbert
- Canada HomeShare website
- ‘Like we’re roommates’: How a 79-year-old found company and a little extra help by letting a student move in (CBC News)
- Introduction to the Agile Retrospective: the Why, the What, and the How (Neatro)
- Hamilton’s 2021-2026 Age-Friendly Community Plan (Hamilton Council on Aging)
- Age-Friendly in Practice – Age-Friendly World (World Health Organization)
- “Snow angels” happy to keep sidewalks clear for seniors (The Sarnia Journal)
- Lambton Elderly Outreach website
- LifeBook: An easy and safe way to record the practical details of your life (Age UK)
- Age-Friendly Peterborough website (workbook live soon)
- CanAge website
Session 10: Social Environment Showcase and Closing Panel
This session showcased age-friendly strategies that target the social environment (i.e. including respect & inclusion and social participation). The conference then closed with a panel on ‘Looking Ahead: What’s next for Ontario’s AFC movement?’
Showcase Presenters: Jenna Wickens, Heather Thompson, Sheila Schuehlein and Darrel O’Shaughnessy
Recording of Showcases:
- GrandPals – Jenna Wickens
- Putting food on the table: Addressing food security among isolated older adults during COVID-19 – Heather Thompson
- Getting to know Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario: Informed collaboartive approaches to serving our communities – Sheila Schuehlein
- Men’s Sheds helping to build Ontario age-friendly communities – Darrel O’Shaughnessy
- Putting Food on The Table Project Toolkit (Source: Sheridan’s Institutional Repository)
- Seniors Safety Line: 1-866-299-1011
- Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Panelists: Dr. Raza Mirza, Wendy Carew, Jayne Culbert and Heather Thompson
Moderator: Sarah Webster
Recording of Closing Panel:
Video available here
- Amber Colibaba – Research Coordinator, Rural Aging Research Program & Coordinator, Trent Centre for Aging & Society - Amber Colibaba coordinates both the Trent Centre for Aging & Society and the Rural Aging Research Program at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario.
- Amy Weiler – Community Engagement Specialist, Lambton Elderly Outreach - Amy Weiler is a community engagement specialist with Lambton Elderly Outreach, the Sarnia-Lambton OHT, and Age-Friendly Sarnia-Lambton.
- Andrea Austen – Manager of Seniors Services and Community Programs, City of Toronto - Andrea Austen is the Manager of Seniors Services and Community Programs at the City of Toronto. Andrea was the lead architect of the Toronto Seniors Strategy, which provides a more proactive, holistic and inclusive approach to the changing demographics and needs of older adults in the City of Toronto.
- Anne Rizzo – International Relations Officer, Age Friendly Ireland (AFI) - Anne Rizzo is an International Relations Officer with Age Friendly Ireland (AFI). She is also a Regional Programme Manager with AFI, supporting eight local Age Friendly Programmes in the West of Ireland, part of a municipality led national programme, operational across all 31 local authority areas in Ireland.
- Arne Stinchcombe, PhD – Assistant Professor, School of Psychology, University of Ottawa; Investigator, Bruyère Research Institute - Dr. Arne Stinchcombe is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and an Investigator with Bruyère Research Institute.
- Bonnie Schroeder – Age-Friendly Ottawa Director, The Council on Aging of Ottawa - Bonnie is the Age-Friendly Ottawa Director with The Council on Aging of Ottawa. She supports six volunteer-led action committees on health, housing, transportation, social inclusion, income security, Francophone Affairs to plan and take action to make Ottawa age-friendlier.
- Caroline D. Bergeron, PhD – Researcher, LIFE Research Institute, University of Ottawa; Center for Population Health and Aging, Texas A&M University - Dr. Caroline D. Bergeron is a researcher and healthy aging advocate. She holds undergraduate degrees in communication and in Spanish from the University of Ottawa, a Master's degree in communication from the University of Montreal, a doctorate in public health from the University of South Carolina, and also has postdoctoral training in aging and communication from the University of Ottawa.
- Catherine Donnelly, PhD – Director, Health Services and Policy Research Institute and Associate Professor, Queen’s University - Catherine is an Associate Professor at the School of Rehabilitation Therapy and an occupational therapist by training. She is cross appointed to the Department of Family Medicine.
- Darrel O’Shaughnessy – Chair, Greater Arnprior Senior’s Council - Darrel currently serves as Chair of the Greater Arnprior Senior’s Council (GASC), serves on the Town of Arnprior’s Corporate Services Advisory Committee, the Senior’s Active Living Centre (SALC) Steering Committee, and was instrumental in successfully launching Canada’s 22nd Men’s Shed.
- Dominic Ventresca – Chair, Age-Friendly Niagara Council Board - Dominic is the Chair of the Age-Friendly Niagara Council Board, Member of the City of St Catharines Older Adult Advisory Committee and Director of the Board of the Ontario Association of Councils on Aging.
- Heather Thompson – Director of Age-Friendly Initiatives, Community Development Halton - Heather Thompson is the Director of Age-Friendly Initiatives with Community Development Halton. Within the World Health Organization’s framework of an Age-Friendly practice, Heather has been actively steering the activities and projects of the Burlington Age-Friendly Council since 2013 and serves as the current Chair of the Halton Age-Friendly Network and the Co-Chair of the Southern Ontario Age-Friendly Network.
- Helen Barrie – Senior Research Fellow, The University of South Australia, School of Business - As a social researcher and geographer, Helen Barrie's research has a focus on Australia’s changing population trends and the implications of this for society and communities.
- Jackie Tanner, MSW, RSW – National Manager, Clinical Lead of Canada HomeShare - Jackie Tanner, MSW, RSW received her BSW at Ryerson University and her MSW at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work at the University of Toronto. Jackie is a gerontological social worker specializing in innovative approaches to aging in place, grief & bereavement and social isolation.
- Jana Ray – Chief Operating Officer, CanAge - Jana Ray, COO at CanAge, is a seasoned business executive with over 10 years senior leadership experience in the non-profit and aging sectors.
- Jane Barratt, PhD – Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing (IFA) - Dr. Jane Barratt is the Secretary General, International Federation on Ageing (IFA) an international NGO with general consultative status at the United Nations and its agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO).
- Jayne Culbert – Age-Friendly Coordinator, City of Peterborough - Jayne’s background is in recreation, community development, healthy aging, and adult education. She has worked with seniors since 1989 and is passionate about helping older adults maintain safe and healthy lives. She has worked as Older Adult Coordinator with the City of Mississauga, Manager of Recreation with the City of Kingston, and Associate Director of Recreation and Sport Clubs with Queen’s University.
- Jenna Wickens – Mature Minds Coordinator, Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County - Prior to working with Catholic Family Services, Jenna engaged older adults through virtual platforms, worked in family ministry, and directed a youth centre. Her educational background is in Community Recreation from Brock University and Niagara College.
- John Puxty, MD – Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Director of CSAH Department of Medicine at Queen’s University and Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care - Dr. John Puxty is currently an Associate Professor and Chair of the Division of Geriatric Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Queen’s University. He is Director of the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care.
- Laura Tamblyn Watts – President & CEO, CanAge - Laura Tamblyn Watts is the Founder and CEO of CanAge, Canada’s national seniors’ advocacy organization. Laura is a passionate advocate on a variety of urgent issues affecting older Canadians, including long-term care and home care, financial security, elder abuse, health care, ageism and inclusion of marginalized communities.
- Linda Garcia, PhD – Full Professor, Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences & Founding Director, the Life Research Institute (LRI) at the University of Ottawa - Linda Garcia, PhD. is Full Professor in the Interdisciplinary School of Health Sciences and Founding Director of the Life Research Institute (LRI) at the University of Ottawa. The LIFE Research Institute (LRI) is an action-oriented research hub that takes a comprehensive approach to aging by advancing knowledge and training on the physical, mental and social issues that impact quality of life throughout the life trajectory.
- Lucy Marco – President, Grand River Council on Aging - Lucy has 57 years of experience in manufacturing, marketing, human resources, administration and management positions, combined with 50 years of volunteer service in over 40 community boards, advisory committees and service clubs.
- Michel Tremblay – Executive Director, Fédération des aînés et retraités francophones de l’Ontario - Michel Tremblay has worked most of his career in the field of health management and senior and community services, in both the public and private sectors. Since August 2021, Michel has held the position of ED of the Fédération des aînés et retraités francophones de l’Ontario.
- Michelle Dellamora – Manager of Community Initiatives and Plans in Neighbourhood and Community-Wide Services, City of London - Michelle is the Manager of Community Initiatives and Plans in Neighbourhood and Community-Wide Services with the City of London.
- Minister Raymond Cho – Minister for Seniors and Accessibility - In September 2016, Minister Cho won a provincial by-election in the riding of Scarborough-Rouge River and became the first Korean born member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
- Mirella Palermo – Senior Policy Planner, City of Brampton - As a Senior Policy Planner, Mirella examines ways to improve processes, outdated policies and implementation strategies at the City improving quality of life for the community. This includes implementing the recommendations of the Strategy and updating the City’s Supportive Housing policies.
- Randa Higazy – Researcher, University of Toronto - Randa is a University of Toronto student studying Cell & Systems Biology with research focused on mental health of BIPOC and immigrant older adults in Canada.
- Raza M. Mirza, PhD – Assistant Professor (Status), University of Toronto, Institute for Life Course and Aging & Network Manager, National Initiative for the Care of the Elderly (NICE) - Raza received his MSc and PhD from University of Toronto. His areas of expertise and teaching include research methods, medical decision-making, the socio-behavioral determinant, and factors influencing late-life social, mental and physical well-being.
- Rebecca Johnson – Councillor At Large, City of Thunder Bay - Rebecca Johnson, Councillor At Large for the City of Thunder Bay is noted for her energetic and vocal style of leadership. Rebecca sits on more than 20 boards and committees advocating for community progress.
- Sarah Webster – Manager, Centre for Studies in Aging and Health at Providence Care - Sarah Webster began her career in long-term care and later transitioned into the field of knowledge translation and exchange. Sarah is Manager of the Centre for Studies in Aging and Health and co-Chair of Specialized Geriatric Service East.
- Sheila Schuehlein – Prevention Consultant, North, Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario - Sheila Schuehlein is Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario’s Regional Consultant serving Northern Ontario. She is a Gerontologist who has developed, facilitated and evaluated health promotion initiatives for over 25 years.
- Tamara Daly, PhD – Professor, York University; Director, York University Centre for Aging Research and Education - Dr. Tamara Daly is a Professor of health policy and equity at York University, Director of the York University Centre for Aging Research and Education (YU CARE) and Director of a SSHRC Partnership grant assessing promising practices for Age Equity. She held a CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Care Work and Health.
- Tracy Gibbs – Project Manager, Hamilton Council on Aging - Tracy Gibbs is a skilled community animator, organizer, and collaborator. With over 20 years leadership experience in not-for-profit and health sectors, she holds a BA in Social Development Studies and BSW(Hons) from the University of Waterloo as well as an MSW in Critical Leadership from McMaster University.
- Trèva Cousineau – Vice-President and Chair of Bilingualism Committee, Council on Aging of Ottawa - A former high school teacher, professional dietitian, and executive director, Trèva Cousineau has been an active and devoted volunteer for over 50 years. She has served on an impressive number of local, provincial, national, and international boards and commissions, often the only francophone and female.
- Wendy Carew – Population Health Lead, Ontario Health North - Wendy Carew brings over 30 years’ experience facilitating community based strategies in northern Ontario. She worked for 20 years as a senior director within the public health system in Ontario. Her areas of passion include: equity, community engagement, research, evaluation and communication.
Background: Check out the Ontario Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program website for more background on AFCIs in Ontario.
Hosted by: This conference was hosted by the Age-Friendly Communities Outreach Program, with funding from the Ministry for Seniors and Accessibility (MSAA).
Conference Proceedings Report
As a follow-up to the Conference, we have compiled a summary of the Conference proceedings to:
- Inform and support aging in place.
- Increase awareness of current age-friendly initiatives, policies, and practices within Ontario.
- Provide key recommendations to propel the age-friendly movement forward.