Brantford, City of

Name of Committee: Grand River Council on Aging + Healthy Aging 

Population: 97,496

Contact:

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 thesummit 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:
    • Seniors Rec Campaign – The City of Brantford is pleased to announce the launch of our new Healthy Living campaign to encourages older adults to stay active and build meaningful social connections.
    • 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.
    • Let’s Get Moving! – a comprehensive transportation campaign to educate seniors on different modes of transportation available in Brantford, including public transit, cycling, and walking.  
    • 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 Funding:

  • Municipal one-time funding
  • Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant
  • Other grant
  • Fundraising

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 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 fund raiser.  As well, they 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.

Current and Completed AFC Projects, Programs, Initiatives:

Project/Program/InitiativeRelated Domain
Audible CrossingsOutdoor Spaces and Public Buildings
Let's Get Moving! (transportation campaign to educate seniors on different modes of transportation available, including public transit, cycling, and walking)Transportation
Seniors' Affordable Housing (New 57-unit seniors’ affordable apartment building) Housing
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)

Social Participation

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)Social Participation
Senior Program Inventory and MappingSocial Participation
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.)

Social Participation

Housing

Healthy Living Campaign (Campaign to encourages older adults to stay active and build meaningful social connections)

Social Participation

Community Support and Health Services

Intergenerational Taco Fest (Annual fundraiser)

Social Participation

Respect and Social Inclusion

NORC Programming (Public health staff going to apartment buildings and residences to get seniors out of their apartments and into community rooms for various programs) 
Seniors and Kids Intergenerational Program (Several programs to bring together students and seniors in retirement homes and neighbourhood hubs)Respect and Social Inclusion
Seniors Column in Newspaper (Partnership with Brant News to have a weekly column that focuses on seniors)

Respect and Social Inclusion

Communication and Information

Elder Abuse StrategyRespect and Social Inclusion
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)Respect and Social Inclusion
Safer Space Training (Reduce harassment, hostility, and discrimination towards LGBTQ2S+ people through raising awareness and creating change through education)

Respect and Social Inclusion

New Years Welcoming to Brantford (New years welcoming to Brantford for all new community members to make them feel welcome)

Respect and Social Inclusion

Graduate BrantfordCivic Participation and Employment
Lifelong Learning WeekCivic Participation and Employment
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)Community Support and Health Services
Safe Brantford (Consumer protection workshops for seniors)Community Support and Health Services
Seniors Mental Health TrainingCommunity Support and Health Services
Para-Medicine Health Support (Paramedics attend 2 seniors apartment buildings regularly to provide medical service on-site)

Community Support and Health Services

Housing

Community Documents: 

 

This profile was updated July 2018.