Age-friendly business guide released

B.C. businesses now have access to a comprehensive guide that provides information on how to create a business environment that is safe and comfortable for seniors.

  • Jul. 27, 2011 6:00 a.m.

B.C. businesses now have access to a comprehensive guide that provides information on how to create a business environment that is safe and comfortable for seniors.

Creating an Age-friendly Business in B.C. is a collaborative release between the Ministry of Health and the B.C. Chamber of Commerce.

The guide is designed to help new and prospective business owners ensure their businesses are age-friendly. It includes information on how businesses can provide an environment of safety, comfort, visibility and respect for older customers. The guide also includes examples of best practices from existing businesses and an assessment tool to help business operators determine if their business is age-friendly and learn how to make improvements.

Signs of an age-friendly business include:

• Wider aisles and uncluttered pathways to better accommodate walkers and wheelchairs

• A place for customers to sit while waiting, and a place to put packages down

• Clear signage

• Adequate and glare-free lighting

• A service desk that is clearly visible so customers can ask for help

• Staff made aware of the needs/challenges faced by older customers

“Seniors are an integral part of B.C. families and this guide reflects our commitment to ensuring supports are in place for the safety and wellbeing of B.C. seniors,” says health minister Michael de Jong. “Age-friendly businesses and communities support older adults to live active, socially-engaged and independent lives and people of all ages and abilities benefit from safer, barrier-free buildings and streets and better access to local businesses and facilities.”