March 22, 2018
Maybe you’re a community organization with a mandate to meaningfully engage seniors. Or, you’re a park group hoping to get seniors more engaged in your park events. Either way, you’re right to recognize that parks are an untapped resource that can deliver multiple benefits for seniors in your community and that it requires unique strategies to get seniors to your events.
A recent national report cited that “The number one emerging issue facing seniors in Canada is keeping older people socially connected and active.” However, it’s not enough to assume that because your park or event is open to the public that seniors will participate. As we highlighted in our Sparking Change Report:
“Parks can be places of healing, exchange and dialogue–but only if we create the conditions for everyone to participate.”
How can park groups “create the conditions” for seniors to use the park and see it as theirs? To answer this question, we spoke to Iffat Malick, Seniors Program Manager at Northwood Neighbourhood Services where English classes, bingo games, light exercise and intergenerational programming all take place in local parks.