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Okotoks commits to becoming age-friendly

Council voted on May 24 to have Mayor Bill Robertson sign a resolution to declare the Town of Okotoks will support and work toward becoming an age-friendly community.
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Tudor Manor resident Ethel Markstrom celebrates her 103rd birthday on May 22. The Town of Okotoks has committed to supporting and working toward becoming an age-friendly community. (Bruce Campbell/Western Wheel)

Okotoks has made its first move toward becoming age-friendly.

Council voted on May 24 to have Mayor Bill Robertson sign a resolution to declare the Town of Okotoks will support and work toward becoming an age-friendly community.

The resolution was the first act of the new Age Friendly Community Sub-committee, operating as an arm of Family and Community Support Services. The sub-committee was struck in the fall and will be spending the next two years analyzing outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, housing, respect and inclusion, social participation, civil participation, employment opportunities, communication and information and community support and health service, and determine areas where improvements could be made to increase the quality of life for seniors in town.

Sian Anderson, Okotoks community wellness specialist, is working as the staff liaison with the sub-committee.

“So far they are off to a really great start,” said Anderson. “This resolution just helps to support the work they are going to do. We have a very engaged and energetic committee at the moment.”

Coun. Matt Rockley said it’s timely to focus on creating age-friendly communities with changing demographics and aging of the Baby Boomers.

“I think there’s going to be a large demographic of older Canadians, older Okotokians,” said Rockley.

According to provincial statistics, more than 640,000 Albertans were over age 65 in March 2020. In Okotoks, census data showed a three per cent increase in the number of people 65 years and older between 2011 and 2016.

“I think anything we can do to raise awareness and make quality of life great for people as they grow older, it’s a great initiative," said Rockley.

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Krista Conrad

About the Author: Krista Conrad

Krista Conrad is the news reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips contact kconrad@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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