Thursday, February 9, 2012

Making Metchosin Age-Friendly

The rural community of Metchosin, BC that I live in is engaged in a process...(one that I talk about more in my Feb. 9 NYNO column for All Points West on CBC Radio One in Victoria.) It's a grassroots-driven attempt to really look at the community, get feedback from seniors and "seniors-in-waiting" through workshops and discussion, and come up with a list of top ten (or 20, or 30) priorities for making Metchosin more age-friendly, a  place where residents can truly age in place and in community. I attended some of the workshops and found the discussions stimulating, the people (many of whom I didn't know) engaging and honest, and the process very satisfying....being a small part in a community initiative that felt truly worthwhile.
So, what came out of this so far? A report to council, that summarizes the findings and suggests directions to move in....the most urgent of which seem to be around Communication and Transportation improvements.
Taking a closer look at possible Housing options is another priority, a way to help make it possible for residents to age in place when they can't "run the farm" anymore. 
There are a variety of options to study, including perhaps some form of senior-friendly cottages that share a common area.
The idea of an information hub, or data centre that seniors can access by computer or call to talk to someone (hopefully a "seniors' advocate") on the phone, a central depot for all sorts of pertinent info...everything from who to call to get your roof fixed to how to access home care, or where to take the bus,... was overwhelmingly endorsed, and Metchosin has just received a grant to work further on this "one stop shop" idea for seniors.
Looking at more transportation options, like expanding the existing volunteer drivers' program in the community, or using the municipal van for outings for elders, is another hot topic.

The project is only really getting going now, and it's a long road, but I'm proud of the fact that the process is underway and people of good will are taking the time and making the effort to make Metchosin a community where people of all ages can continue to live vibrant, useful, engaged lives, to "live in community," with the active support of that community, for as long as they choose.


  1. Good for Metchosin! The transportation issue would concern me if I were living there and facing the end of my driving career. I wouldn't want to wait an hour or two for the bus!

  2. Yes, transport is key! Good to see things are moving forward.