Rich­mond County seek­ing to roll out age-friendly plan

Project is part­ner­ship be­tween mu­nic­i­pal­ity and Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Se­niors

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING

Rich­mond County is look­ing to hire a con­sul­tant to im­ple­ment an age friendly com­mu­ni­ties plan that will tar­get all de­mo­graph­ics in the mu­nic­i­pal­ity.

The county is look­ing for a con­sul­tant to help in de­vel­op­ing the plan, which is to re­spond to cur­rent and fu­ture trends in the com­mu­nity and look at is­sues re­lated to de­mo­graph­ics, hous­ing, trans­porta­tion, health care and other needs.

“Be­ing an age-friendly com­mu­nity is some­thing that came up when we were do­ing our strate­gic plan­ning con­sul­ta­tions with the com­mu­ni­ties,” War­den Ja­son Ma­cLean said in an in­ter­view. “We cer­tainly do have a large pop­u­la­tion over the age of 55, but the age-friendly por­tion of that isn’t just deal­ing with that age cat­e­gory. It’s re­ally try­ing to come up with ideas and strate­gies to in­cor­po­rate through­out the en­tire county that will deal with ev­ery­body from tod­dlers all the way up to se­niors.

The project is a part­ner­ship be­tween the mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the Nova Sco­tia Depart­ment of Se­niors. While it will in­volve look­ing at all ages, the ten­der doc­u­ment does note that al­most 77 per cent of the county’s pop­u­la­tion is more than 55 years old. Ma­cLean said he be­lieves that places it be­hind Guys­bor­ough in terms of the old­est mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the prov­ince.

By look­ing at what is needed to bet­ter serve var­i­ous age groups, Ma­cLean said it’s hoped it will help at­tract and re­tain res­i­dents.

“One thing that came out loud and clear is that we need some­thing ei­ther to bring back the young folks who have left or try to do some­thing to re­tain them,” he said.

Ma­cLean said the county has been work­ing on a draft plan and coun­cil­lors could get a glimpse at it this week. If it’s to coun­cil’s lik­ing, they could vote to ac­cept it at their meet­ing later this month.

The re­quest for pro­pos­als closes Satur­day.

Ma­cLean

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