Town of Brome Lake certified as age-friendly
Avolunteer committee has completed an action plan 18 months in the making that is certified by Quebec’s Municipalité Amie des Aînés (MADA) program.
The plan aims to enrich the lives of the Town of Brome Lake’s senior population. It was launched Thursday afternoon, Oct. 4 at a gathering at the Brome Lake Community Centre.
The committee formed in September 2016 and drew up an inventory of existing services and resources and asked seniors what their needs were.
“The data collected led to a three-year action plan that includes measures to highlight and recognize the important role of seniors in our community,” Elizabeth Dupéré, the MADA committee chairman, wrote.
The committee received funding from the province’s Ministère de la famille.
Seniors 65 and older made up 31 per cent of TBL’S population in 2016, up from 20 per cent in 2001, according to a chart provided by the committee. That compares to 22.8 per cent in the Brome-missisquoi MRC and 18.3 per cent in the province.
MADA’S objective is to create an environment that allows seniors to live with dignity with a safe and healthy lifestyle, to maintain autonomy, and to be active in the community. The committee laid out plans to improve community support and health care services, transportation and mobility, housing, and recreation and social involvement.
The goal of the program is to provide information about local services like transportation, Meals on Wheels, home services, recreation, and health care. It would also improve the services of the CLSC, and look into the possibility of doctors making house calls.
The plan would improve access to services by making affordable taxi service available. It would also make seniors feel safer when driving, bicycling, and walking. It would involve asking police to increase their presence, improving lighting in some areas of town, creating a corridor on Knowlton Road for pedestrians and cyclists, and extending the path on Victoria and Centre streets to downtown, and making it accessible yearround.
In an effort to keep seniors living at home, the MADA plan would have an outreach worker available for seniors and establish rapid response plans for emergencies like storms and power outages. The plan would also encourage the development of affordable housing, particularly rental units.
The general objective is to create an environment in TBL that would maintain seniors’ quality of life by facilitating leisure activities by making services available. The MADA plan will also involve things like adding benches and drinking fountains around town, and improved lighting.
The plan encourages seniors to get involved in the community, and to take advantage of activities. The town will set up a watchdog committee to ensure that all aspects of the action plan are carried out.
Elizabeth Dupéré, the chairman of TBL’S MADA committee, described the year-and-a-half planning process to a group of seniors Thursday at the Brome Lake Community Centre.