To ensure alignment with the efforts of other communities in Canada and around the world, The Toronto Seniors Strategy has been organized using the World Health Organization's (WHO) framework for age-friendly cities.
The WHO has provided practical leadership on making cities age-friendly. The WHO framework is based on the idea of active aging, defined as maximizing "opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance quality of life as people age" (WHO, 2007).
With early support from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the WHO developed its Global Age-Friendly Cities Project to help cities deal with the dramatic rise in their older populations. Research was conducted in 33 cities around the world, leading to the identification of eight themes related to a community's age-friendliness.
Most cities in Ontario have followed the WHO's framework. Ottawa was an early participant in the project, serving as a test site for the project's research. London, Hamilton, and Waterloo, among others, have also modelled their Age-friendly strategies on the WHO framework.
The themes that the City of Toronto used in its consultation are very compatible and easily aligned to the WHO themes. By organizing the Strategy's recommendations to match the WHO framework, the City of Toronto can compare its efforts and its successes with cities across the country and around the world.
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WHO Age-Friendly Themes
The World Health Organization has identified eight themes based on the idea of active aging.
Source: WHO (2007) Global Age-Friendly Cities: A Guide, pg. 9