FREDERICTON (GNB) – Six more communities have been designated as age-friendly.

Beresford, Dieppe, Fredericton, Grand Bay-Westfield, New Maryland and Rothesay achieved that designation under the provincial government’s Age-Friendly Recognition Program. Community celebrations will be held in the coming weeks.

Moncton, Tracadie and Cocagne were named age-friendly communities last year.

“It is exciting to see so many communities around the province embracing the age-friendly approach,” said Seniors and Long-Term Care Minister Lisa Harris. “I am proud of these communities for their hard work in achieving this goal, and I hope others continue to follow their lead in helping our seniors to have a positive aging experience.”

The recognition program was developed to encourage communities to take sustainable action to become more age-friendly. Age-friendly communities help to combat ageism by adopting policies and providing services that are more supportive and inclusive of seniors.

To receive recognition, communities must have completed four milestones developed by the World Health Organization. These milestones are based upon community engagement and taking sustainable action. The milestones include: passing a resolution; establishing an age-friendly committee; conducting an age-friendly assessment of the community; and developing and implementing an action plan.

Supporting municipalities and communities in becoming age-friendly helps to improve infrastructure, promote social inclusion, provide enhanced communication and education opportunities, and promote community health and active living for all residents.

More information about the Age-Friendly Recognition Program is available on the Wellness Movement website.

Fostering healthy aging and support for seniors is one of the seven priority areas outlined in the New Brunswick Family Plan framework, which also focuses government action on: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with addictions and mental health challenges; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty and providing support for people living with a disability.