Seniors and Special Needs CommitteeFollowing the municipal elections in May 2016, the municipal council added to its list of existing committees, the Seniors and Special Needs Committee. The new committee wanted to know the expectations, concerns and needs of seniors and determined that the MADA guide process would be the ideal tool to do so.
Age-Friendly Municipality (MADA)In June 2017, the Village of Saint-Antoine was officially recognized as a Municipalité amie des aînés (Age-Friendly Municipality) which aims to improve the wellness of all its senior citizens and create a committee to coordinate the MADA process. The Seniors and Special Needs Committee, which is also the MADA committee, includes citizens of the municipality, representatives of various organizations in the field as well as municipal representatives. This committee is sponsored by the Village of Saint-Antoine’s municipal council and supported by the Association francophone des aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick.
What is a MADA?A MADA is first and foremost a municipality or community that supports the values associated with active aging and adapts the living environments to the needs of the elderly citizens. The MADA approach improve infrastructure, promote social inclusion, provide effective communication and education opportunities and promote healthy aging and wellness in the community. Strategies like MADA are found internationally and across Canada. In the province, this movement was initially implemented by the Association francophone des aînés du Nouveau-Brunswick in collaboration with the Wellness Branch of the Department of Social Development of the province. Since the beginning in 2012, there are more than 20 municipalities and communities that have implemented the MADA approach.
Survey/ Action PlanIn 2018, an assessment of the environment and the situation of this aging population was done with people aged 50 and over within the municipal limits of the Village of Saint-Antoine, which represents 47.6 % of the population (2016 Canadian census statistics). A group of volunteers distributed the questionnaires door-to-door. This process led to an action plan (only available in French) based on the reality of the community to improve the quality of life of seniors.