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Delta to be more 'age-friendly' for seniors

An action plan is to be prepared for council’s consideration later this year
The city wants to better incorporate the principles of age-friendly planning into community planning and development. Sabinevaner/Pixabay

The City of Delta is hoping to become an age-friendly community.

In partnership with LevelUp Planning Collaborative, the city is currently undertaking a community Assessment and Action Plan to better understand the unique needs and challenges of older people in Delta.

“Age-friendly communities support older people by designing policies, services and structures related to the physical and social environment in ways that help people live safely, enjoy good health, and stay involved. Through this Plan, the City of Delta can better incorporate the principles of Age-Friendly planning to help ensure residents of all ages can stay active and thrive in Delta,” according to a city report.

Currently gathering public input with the consulting firm to get a better understanding of what older adults and the community feel about the age-friendliness of Delta, the city is aiming to have a draft action plan prepared by September.

Last year Delta received a grant from the BC Healthy Communities: AgeFriendly Community Grants Program to undertake an assessment of the seniors’ demographic in the city and develop an age-friendly strategy/action plan.

The grant program is delivered by BCHC in partnership with the BC Ministry of Health.

“With Delta’s growing seniors’ population, it is important to identify ways to ensure people can continue living independent, active lives, being involved in the community, and having a voice and access to the resources they need,” a report to council noted.

The target audience is older adults ages 65-and-up, as that group has grown dramatically in the last 10 years in Delta. People in the 50-to-64 age range are to also be considered.

A previous report to council notes population aging is a major issue that is impacting all communities.

By 2031, an estimated 25 per cent of the province’s population will be over the age of 65.

Delta has a high proportion of seniors, with 20.5 per cent of the population in 2021 being aged 65 and over, up from 18.7 per cent in 2016, according to the latest Statistics Canada data.

In comparison, for Canada, the proportion of seniors was 19 per cent in 2021.

According to Delta’s Social Action Plan, the most significant population increase in the city was among those between 65-and-84 years of age.

While Tsawwassen has a higher proportion of those aged 65 and over compared to Ladner and North Delta, North Delta accounts for more than 42 per cent of all senior residents in Delta.