Age Friendly Ontario
Ontario County is committed to becoming a
that can meet the needs of residents of all ages.
What is Age-Friendly?
Age Friendly and healthy aging/livable community concepts are not only about old age; they are about improving the health and wellness of people of all ages. It is about designing communities that strengthen people’s connections to each other, improve health, increase opportunities for physical activity, improve the built environment and support and advance the economic environment through proactive design and future-based planning.
Ontario County is one of 16 that received a New York State Age-Friendly Planning Grant. Age-friendly and healthy aging concepts are not only about old age; they are about improving the health and wellness of people of all ages. It is about designing communities that strengthen people’s connections to each other, improve health, increase opportunities for physical activity, and support and advance the economic environment through proactive design and future-based planning.
New York State was certified as the first age-friendly state in the nation in 2017 by the AARP and the World Health Organization. The Age-Friendly Planning Program seeks to create and foster healthier, more integrated communities that allow New Yorkers of all ages to easily access services, take part in civic activities, and more easily move around their community by walking, bicycling, and using other alternatives to private automobiles. This is achieved through system-level changes, such as offering incentives for age-friendly concepts, establishing new program and procurement guidelines, or implementing regulatory changes.
People of all ages benefit from the adoption of policies and programs that make neighborhoods walkable, feature transportation options, enable access to key services, provide opportunities to participate in community activities, and support housing that's affordable and adaptable. Well-designed, age-friendly communities foster economic growth and make for happier, healthier residents of all ages.
Older New Yorkers are a vital part of their families and communities, substantially contributing economically, socially, and intellectually through volunteerism, civic engagement, employment and tourism. Communities that understand and adopt the principles of livability and smart growth are communities that are healthy and vibrant places to live for people of all ages that will attract new residents and retain existing residents.
The Age-Friendly Initiative
To kick off this initiative the county held two workshops:
View the “Creating Thriving Communities: from Vision to Reality" report by Esther Greenhouse.
The 8 Domains of Livability
The availability and quality of these community features impact the well-being of older adults.
- Outdoor spaces and buildings – accessibility to and availability of clean, safe community centers, parks, and other recreational facilities;
Gannett Hill Park - Barrier free/stepless entry - benefits movers and those with walkers/strollers as well as those in a wheelchair.
- Transportation – safe and affordable modes of private and public transportation, “Complete Streets” types of initiatives, hospitable built environments;
- Housing – wide range of housing options for older residents, aging in place and other home modification programs, housing that is accessible to transportation and community and health services;
- Social participation – access to leisure and cultural activities; opportunities for older residents to participate in social and civic engagement with their peers and younger people;
- Respect and social inclusion – programs to support and promote ethnic and cultural diversity, programs to encourage multi-generational interaction and dialogue, programs to combat loneliness and isolation among older residents;
- Civic participation and employment – promotion of paid work and volunteer opportunities for older residents; opportunities for older residents to engage in formulation of policies relevant to their lives;
- Communication and information – promotion of and access to the use of technology to keep older residents connected to their community and friends and family, both near and far;
- Community support and health services – access to homecare services, clinics, programs to promote active ageing (physical exercise and healthy habits); and resources.