Saanich success as an age-friendly city was highlighted at an international healthy-aging conference in Japan in October.
Coun. Judy Brownoff was invited to give the keynote speech at the ninth annual World Health Capital Conference in Matsumoto, Japan. The conference took place on Oct. 16 and 17 and focused on the theme of Food and Exercises: Healthy Connections with Everyone.
The conference touched on health and longevity views from around the world and Brownoff was asked to share the work that Saanich has been doing to engage aging residents and help them lead healthy lives.
In her presentation, Brownoff explained that in 2006, Saanich joined the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Communities initiative and has since been working to implement services that will help older residents enjoy healthy, active lives.
Akira Sugenoya, the mayor of Matsumoto, said there were a lot of good ideas to take away from Brownoff’s presentation as his city encourages residents to take an active role in their own longevity.
The conference featured panels and discussions on various topics from health promotion in Russia to a physiotherapy device designed for folks with arthritic in their hands.
Events such as these help cities around the world share ideas about healthy longevity and learn from one another, said Hiroyuki Kobayashi, director of health industry in Matsumoto.
Brownoff agreed and noted that sharing ideas in this way helps to plan for aging populations to continue to live engaged, active lives.
“Many cities in the world are experiencing longevity in older adults and there are many opportunities for active and creative aging,” said Brownoff.
Brownoff has a background in age-friendly communities as she serves as co-chair of the Public Health Agency of Canada of the Pan Canadian Age-Friendly Communities Reference Group – a group with representatives across Canada that meet once a month to discuss the problems facing older adults.