FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting seniors around

News Jul 09, 2015 by Sean Allen Brant News

The World Health Organization, which has been the guiding light for the Grand River Council on Aging’s push for an age-friendly community in Brant, boils it down quite nicely in its 2007 age-friendly cities report.

“Being able to move about the city determines social and civic participation,” the report states. “(As well as) access to community and health services.”

You can’t have an age-friendly community without the ability to access it via transportation.

GRCOA’s age-friendly community summit series in collaboration with Brant MPP Dave Levac turns its focus to transportation for the second of eight gatherings. The meeting will be held at the Brantford and District Civic Centre next Friday, July 17, beginning at 9 a.m.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and things are expected to wrap up by noon. Pre-registration is being encouraged due to the popularity of the topic.

“Already our numbers are high for this one,” organizer Carrie Sinkowski said of pre-registrations for the gathering. “It’s why we picked the civic centre for its capacity.

“Even at the last gathering, it wasn’t about transportation, but everyone was still talking about it.”

Participants can pre-register online at www.GRCOA.ca or by phoning 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

Levac said people are approaching the topic of transportation from different angles.

“For some it’s about personal transportation and how driver’s licences are renewed,” he said. “We have families contacting us on an individual basis with questions about a senior’s licence being taken away and they have questions.

“Do we continue to leave it up to the family to deal with the loss of independence? Or can we put our collective heads together and do something?”

Another focus has been public transportation.

“Where it goes, how it goes and how often it goes are the big questions,” Levac said.

Organizers are counting on groups and agencies representing seniors to be well represented at the gathering, but Levac doesn’t want them to dominate the discussion. He said it’s vitally important to have individuals, without ties to agencies, represented.

“We want that information from the grassroots level, straight from the mouths of seniors,” he said.  

Levac said individuals tend to offer up the “low-hanging fruit” items and think outside the box.

“We need to get that divergent thinking,” he said. “Individuals tend to identify the nuanced things that won’t take a lot to fix, but that maybe we wouldn’t think about without them.”

Levac said things like standardized street signs or the better display of street addresses also fall under the focus of transportation.

One of the major specific issues that comes up in the region is public transportation beyond the borders of the City of Brantford.

“It’s that connection from the city to the county,” Sinkowski said. “If people live in the county and need to come to Brantford General Hospital, they don’t have that public transportation option.”

Levac said the city-county link isn’t just about health care.

“There are seniors with disposable income but they are landlocked in terms of not having public transportation,” he said. “They want to re-engage the city and county to talk about a public transportation program. And if there are guidelines we need to modify at the provincial level, we’ll push for that.”

GRCOA and Levac launched the summit series in March. The series of gatherings will touch on the eight major pillars of an age-friendly community as established by the WHO. The meetings will take place over two years with the final one happening in October 2016.

A final overall report on the state of Brant’s age-friendliness – with ideas for the future – will be distributed in the summer of 2017 to all three levels of government.  

The first meeting on outdoor spaces and public buildings took place in May. About 35 people brought a long list of ideas to help make outdoor spaces and public buildings in Brant more age-friendly.

The next gathering will be in September on the third age-friendly pillar: social participation.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting seniors around

Age-friendly summit series turns focus to transportation

News Jul 09, 2015 by Sean Allen Brant News

The World Health Organization, which has been the guiding light for the Grand River Council on Aging’s push for an age-friendly community in Brant, boils it down quite nicely in its 2007 age-friendly cities report.

“Being able to move about the city determines social and civic participation,” the report states. “(As well as) access to community and health services.”

You can’t have an age-friendly community without the ability to access it via transportation.

GRCOA’s age-friendly community summit series in collaboration with Brant MPP Dave Levac turns its focus to transportation for the second of eight gatherings. The meeting will be held at the Brantford and District Civic Centre next Friday, July 17, beginning at 9 a.m.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and things are expected to wrap up by noon. Pre-registration is being encouraged due to the popularity of the topic.

“Already our numbers are high for this one,” organizer Carrie Sinkowski said of pre-registrations for the gathering. “It’s why we picked the civic centre for its capacity.

“Even at the last gathering, it wasn’t about transportation, but everyone was still talking about it.”

Participants can pre-register online at www.GRCOA.ca or by phoning 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

Levac said people are approaching the topic of transportation from different angles.

“For some it’s about personal transportation and how driver’s licences are renewed,” he said. “We have families contacting us on an individual basis with questions about a senior’s licence being taken away and they have questions.

“Do we continue to leave it up to the family to deal with the loss of independence? Or can we put our collective heads together and do something?”

Another focus has been public transportation.

“Where it goes, how it goes and how often it goes are the big questions,” Levac said.

Organizers are counting on groups and agencies representing seniors to be well represented at the gathering, but Levac doesn’t want them to dominate the discussion. He said it’s vitally important to have individuals, without ties to agencies, represented.

“We want that information from the grassroots level, straight from the mouths of seniors,” he said.  

Levac said individuals tend to offer up the “low-hanging fruit” items and think outside the box.

“We need to get that divergent thinking,” he said. “Individuals tend to identify the nuanced things that won’t take a lot to fix, but that maybe we wouldn’t think about without them.”

Levac said things like standardized street signs or the better display of street addresses also fall under the focus of transportation.

One of the major specific issues that comes up in the region is public transportation beyond the borders of the City of Brantford.

“It’s that connection from the city to the county,” Sinkowski said. “If people live in the county and need to come to Brantford General Hospital, they don’t have that public transportation option.”

Levac said the city-county link isn’t just about health care.

“There are seniors with disposable income but they are landlocked in terms of not having public transportation,” he said. “They want to re-engage the city and county to talk about a public transportation program. And if there are guidelines we need to modify at the provincial level, we’ll push for that.”

GRCOA and Levac launched the summit series in March. The series of gatherings will touch on the eight major pillars of an age-friendly community as established by the WHO. The meetings will take place over two years with the final one happening in October 2016.

A final overall report on the state of Brant’s age-friendliness – with ideas for the future – will be distributed in the summer of 2017 to all three levels of government.  

The first meeting on outdoor spaces and public buildings took place in May. About 35 people brought a long list of ideas to help make outdoor spaces and public buildings in Brant more age-friendly.

The next gathering will be in September on the third age-friendly pillar: social participation.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting seniors around

Age-friendly summit series turns focus to transportation

News Jul 09, 2015 by Sean Allen Brant News

The World Health Organization, which has been the guiding light for the Grand River Council on Aging’s push for an age-friendly community in Brant, boils it down quite nicely in its 2007 age-friendly cities report.

“Being able to move about the city determines social and civic participation,” the report states. “(As well as) access to community and health services.”

You can’t have an age-friendly community without the ability to access it via transportation.

GRCOA’s age-friendly community summit series in collaboration with Brant MPP Dave Levac turns its focus to transportation for the second of eight gatherings. The meeting will be held at the Brantford and District Civic Centre next Friday, July 17, beginning at 9 a.m.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and things are expected to wrap up by noon. Pre-registration is being encouraged due to the popularity of the topic.

“Already our numbers are high for this one,” organizer Carrie Sinkowski said of pre-registrations for the gathering. “It’s why we picked the civic centre for its capacity.

“Even at the last gathering, it wasn’t about transportation, but everyone was still talking about it.”

Participants can pre-register online at www.GRCOA.ca or by phoning 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

Levac said people are approaching the topic of transportation from different angles.

“For some it’s about personal transportation and how driver’s licences are renewed,” he said. “We have families contacting us on an individual basis with questions about a senior’s licence being taken away and they have questions.

“Do we continue to leave it up to the family to deal with the loss of independence? Or can we put our collective heads together and do something?”

Another focus has been public transportation.

“Where it goes, how it goes and how often it goes are the big questions,” Levac said.

Organizers are counting on groups and agencies representing seniors to be well represented at the gathering, but Levac doesn’t want them to dominate the discussion. He said it’s vitally important to have individuals, without ties to agencies, represented.

“We want that information from the grassroots level, straight from the mouths of seniors,” he said.  

Levac said individuals tend to offer up the “low-hanging fruit” items and think outside the box.

“We need to get that divergent thinking,” he said. “Individuals tend to identify the nuanced things that won’t take a lot to fix, but that maybe we wouldn’t think about without them.”

Levac said things like standardized street signs or the better display of street addresses also fall under the focus of transportation.

One of the major specific issues that comes up in the region is public transportation beyond the borders of the City of Brantford.

“It’s that connection from the city to the county,” Sinkowski said. “If people live in the county and need to come to Brantford General Hospital, they don’t have that public transportation option.”

Levac said the city-county link isn’t just about health care.

“There are seniors with disposable income but they are landlocked in terms of not having public transportation,” he said. “They want to re-engage the city and county to talk about a public transportation program. And if there are guidelines we need to modify at the provincial level, we’ll push for that.”

GRCOA and Levac launched the summit series in March. The series of gatherings will touch on the eight major pillars of an age-friendly community as established by the WHO. The meetings will take place over two years with the final one happening in October 2016.

A final overall report on the state of Brant’s age-friendliness – with ideas for the future – will be distributed in the summer of 2017 to all three levels of government.  

The first meeting on outdoor spaces and public buildings took place in May. About 35 people brought a long list of ideas to help make outdoor spaces and public buildings in Brant more age-friendly.

The next gathering will be in September on the third age-friendly pillar: social participation.