On National Seniors Day, CMA urges country to build better communities.

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October 1st is National Seniors Day and there are so many reasons to celebrate senior life in our region. While this one day a year is recognized nationally, we can be thinking about ways to support seniors all year long.

Canada’s aging population challenges the viability of our physical and built environments. To promote seniors’ independence and successful, healthy aging, our communities should be transformed into age-friendly spaces.

Older adults overwhelmingly say they want to maintain their independence as they age.However, many of them experience some type of physical, cognitive or psychological impairment. This lowered ability makes it more difficult for them to navigate barriers in their local neighbourhoods, such as the lack of essential services within a walkable distance.

The video on age-friendly cities demonstrates some of the common challenges faced by seniors who want to stay active in their communities.

Age-friendly communities are designed to help seniors live safely, enjoy good health, stay involved and continue to do the things that are important to them. Staying active helps to promote health and prevents or delays the onset of disease and decline.

Examples of community features that help seniors to stay active include well-lit and well-maintained sidewalks and ramps, crosswalks for slower pedestrians, buildings with automatic door openers, accessible and affordable public transportation,exercise equipment in parks targeted to seniors, and community outreach programs that target isolated seniors and provide opportunities to stay engaged.

The CMA recommends that governments and communities accommodate older Canadians’ needs  in the design of buildings, walkways, transportation systems and other aspects of the urban environment.

The Canadian Medical Association recently launched a social media contest involving selfies, seniors and sentiments.

“We want to know more about the amazing seniors in your life. The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) is giving away an Amazon Echo Dot to one random participant in our #CelebrateSeniors contest. Join us in celebrating the seniors in your community by posting a selfie with them on social media and sharing a little-known fact that makes them amazing to you.” a CMA statement reads.

Instructions for entering the #CelebrateSeniors contest:

1. Take a selfie with a senior that you admire
2. Tell us something surprising about your entrant
3. Post to Instagram or Facebook using #CelebrateSeniors
4. Tag us! Instagram: @CMA_Docs Facebook: @Canadian Medical Association
5. Make sure your posts are public so that we can see your entry!

If you follow these steps between now and Oct. 15, your name will be added to the draw for an Amazon Echo Dot.

OR…

1. Go to CMA’s Instagram or Facebook page on Oct. 1.
2. Find our post using the #CelebrateSeniors or #ÉlogeAuxAînés
3. Post your selfie with a senior that you admire, don’t forget to tell us something surprising about that person.

Enter between Oct. 1 and Oct. 15, your name will be added to the draw.

A draw for the winner will take place on Oct. 22. Winner will be informed by direct messaging to their social media account or by email within 5 days following the draw.