The Hub of Social Services on the Coast

Age Friendly Communities Plan

The Age Friendly Community Plan, completed in March 2017, was developed by the Sunshine Coast Seniors Planning Table (SPT) for the District of Sechelt. Between April and September of 2016 the SPT asked a total of 208 participants in eight focus groups what would make Sechelt even more friendly for people of all ages. They summarized the feedback by topic and, in consultation with community groups and agencies, formulated key findings and recommendations.

The SPT hopes this plan will inform community members and agencies about issues and create a foundation for future work. They feel strongly that there is a need for evidence-based community social planning and a supported Seniors Planning Table on the coast, as well as a social policy framework at the provincial and federal government levels. They recommend that the District of Sechelt prioritize the recommendations in this plan, and continue to work collaboratively with other agencies, community organizations and governments to make the Sunshine Coast a healthy, connected and liveable community for people of all ages.

Key Findings and Recommendations

  1. Outdoor Spaces and Buildings – The District of Sechelt needs more and flatter sidewalks, and signed beach trails with more benches and washrooms. Places for people to gather and socialize are important.

  2. Transportation and Traffic Safety – Recommendations are made to a wide variety of agencies for measures to improve safe transportation for pedestrians, bicycles, motorized mobility devices, and users of public transit and ferries.

  3. Housing and Independent Living – The importance of aging in place in a secure, affordable home was a resounding theme in citizen comments. We recommend that the District of Sechelt develop an affordable housing strategy and continue its involvement in the Homelessness Advisory Committee.

  4. Respect and Inclusion – The Seniors Planning Table is directed to work with community groups to foster intergenerational connection.

  5. Social Participation – We recommend that the SCRD Recreation Department and the Seniors Planning Table increase opportunities for building social connections by holding community events at neighbourhood halls, parks and schools.

  6. Civic Participation and Employment – Many older adults must work. We recommend that the Open Door Group, the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization and the CRC consider the employment and financial needs of older adults. Older adults are also some of the busiest volunteers in our community. There is a need for a more robust Volunteer Centre.

  7. Communication and Information – Something we heard repeatedly was that community members are unaware of services already offered on the coast, and don’t know where to go to find information. We recommend that the CRC and the Seniors Planning Table continue efforts to communicate information on a wide variety of programs and services.

  8. Community Support and Health Services – Seniors health care needs are urgent, and communication about available services is lacking. We have made a number of recommendations to organizations including Vancouver Coastal Health, the Division of Family Practice, Kálax-ay Campus of Capilano University, and the SCRD Recreation Department to address wellness, dementia, and a variety of other health needs.