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Age Friendliness Research Study

Research Study.jpg

The Age-Friendliness Research Study generated interest and allowed May and Bev to form a small Age-Friendly Riverview steering committee adding community members, Joe Distascio and Judy Jennings.


Michelle Porter PhD, Director, Centre on Aging, oversaw and Stephanie Chesser PhD, Assistant Professor, U of M, led the research study.  Its purpose was to assess the age-friendliness of Riverview using citizen scientists to collect and analyze data.  Ten people, 9 women and 1 man, with the average age of 61, were recruited to participate in the study.  The citizen scientists each took a one hour walk around the neighbourhood of Riverview using a tablet to take pictures of barriers and supports to age-friendliness.  They recorded commentary about each picture taken and marked the picture as positive or negative for age-friendliness.  GPS tracking was used to show the locations of the pictures.  Following the data collection phase of the study, U. of M. professors and graduate students compiled the data and set up a structure for the citizen scientists to analyze it during two 2-hour meetings in the fall of 2018.  The citizen scientists identified themes related to barriers and supports for age-friendliness in Riverview.  A concluding analysis of the themes led to the identification of 3 priority areas: housing, mobility, and community centres.  Once these priority areas and their accompanying supports and barriers were identified, the citizen scientists brainstormed ideas for neighbourhood change.

Study Results



  1. Housing

    1. Supports

      1. Housing options: Variety: Apartments & Condos on Osborne, different sized houses, Women’s Housing Initiative Manitoba.

      2. Multi-generational neighbourhood-People of different ages to support each other

    2. Barriers

      1. Affordability of condos or larger homes or upkeep on current home in Riverview.

      2. Accessibility-self-maintenance and mobility-especially multi-story homes

    3. Possible solutions

      1. Convert large homes to condos or co-ops

      2. Student/senior housing

      3. Apprenticeship programs or community service to help maintain or upgrade homes

      4. Change existing homes + build new homes that are more conductive to senior mobility issues

  2. Mobility

    1. Supports

      1. Bicycle-Friendly Neighbourhood (relatively safe, connections, repair shop)

      2. Bus #95-Comes into community, affordable transportation

    2. Barriers

      1. Possibility that low volume Bus#95 will be discontinued

      2. Road repairs

      3. Uneven walking surfaces

      4. Walkway plowing

      5. Accessibility to nature

    3. Possible Solutions

      1. Bikes-connect gaps in river trail

      2. Sustainable model for Bus #95

      3. Fix both roads & back lanes in a timely manner

      4. Sidewalks repaired properly for safe walking and effective snowplowing

      5. More benches near pathways; ramp access; railings on stairs and ramps


  1. Community Centres

    1. Supports

      1. Community-run & inspired

      2. Multi-age

      3. Learning & gathering spaces

    2. Possible solutions

      1. Ask community leaders for participation & ideas in age-friendly projects

      2. More programs for older people; ask older people to organize what they want

      3. Advocate for using other spaces (e.g. schools and green space use)

      4. Work community projects through community centres; connect with centres to organize

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