FOCUS ON SENIORS: GRCOA halfway through the summit

News Dec 23, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The age-friendly summit partnership between Brant MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging has completed four of its eight planned gatherings.

Using the experience of seniors, the primary objective of this partnership is to consider various aspects of daily living for the population as it ages.

Changing demographics forecast that by 2030, the number of people over the age of 55 will represent 35.2 per cent of the population in the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

This work is important.

The partners want to ensure that appropriate programs and services are available for all ages – now and in the future – in order to encourage the development of age-friendly communities.  

The first thing the partners did was to develop a unique core group to conduct the necessary planning and facilitation to complete this vital project.

Members represent Brantford-Brant MP Phil McColeman’s office, the Alzheimer Society, City of Brantford, County of Brant, Six Nations, Brantford Native Housing and they are joined by nine local retirees.   

The monthly core group meetings are co-chaired by Levac and GRCOA president Lucy Marco.

Having set the stage for a two year process, it seems incredible that the summit has already reached the midway point. Each gathering is based on a pillar taken from the Age-Friendly Cities Network developed by the World Health Organization. In April 2017, the partners will publish a final report.

Wanting to ensure that older adults from all parts of the Brant riding could take part, the gatherings are hosted at different locations, switching between the Brant Sports Complex, the Brantford and District Civic Centre or Six Nations Tourism.

To date, four gatherings have taken place.  

Preliminary reports have been written about “outdoor spaces and buildings,” “transportation,” “social participation” and “civic participation and employment.”

The results have been astounding. Ranging from the simple to the sublime, participants provided concrete suggestions for change, enhancement and improvement.   

The gatherings are open for everyone. Older adults, caregivers, family members, organizations, agencies and non-profits are all encouraged to take part.

After registration and a welcome of coffee, tea and sweets provided by Seasons Bell Lane, participants at each gathering are divided into small groups. Each group is led by a knowledgeable facilitator.  

Marco facilitates each gathering. The process has been similar at each, but the half-day sessions typically begin with greetings from Levac. On occasion, Mayor Chris Friel from the City of Brantford or Chief Ava Hill from Six Nations has joined him.

In addition, Brant councillor Shirley Simons attends as a participant.

At the gathering in November, the group was thrilled to welcome MPP Mario Sergio, the Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs. 

After the formalities, Marco outlines the topic for the day. She does considerable research to prepare for each session and as a result, is able to speak knowledgeably about each pillar.

As a skilled facilitator and trainer, Marco motivates her listeners, inspiring active participation at each table.

Following her remarks, the small groups break out for discussion. Each session always finishes with the convenors from each table reporting their group’s discussion points.

From the rough notes taken each time and from her solid memory and recall, Marco prepares a preliminary report after each gathering. These preliminary reports are available for anyone to see and are also posted on the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

The preliminary reports demonstrate insights based on experience from those present for the dialogue. They also show creativity and inspiration. Creating a more age-friendly community will benefit everyone, regardless of age.

Word about the Summit is getting out. Attendance has increased at each gathering with more than 65 people joining in for the gathering on “civic participation and employment.”

The age-friendly summit was designed to supplement and complement existing work, programs, activities and services. There may be small changes that could be accomplished quite easily at little cost that no one has ever thought of before. Levac calls these items “low-hanging fruit.”

There are definitely large challenges such as transportation that will require collaboration, innovation, partnership and financial resources to resolve. 

The planners are excited about the progress to date and are looking forward to another year of insight and discussion.

The next gathering will focus on “housing” and is scheduled for April 22, 2016, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.   

FOCUS ON SENIORS: GRCOA halfway through the summit

Preliminary reports available for four of eight age-friendly community gatherings

News Dec 23, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The age-friendly summit partnership between Brant MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging has completed four of its eight planned gatherings.

Using the experience of seniors, the primary objective of this partnership is to consider various aspects of daily living for the population as it ages.

Changing demographics forecast that by 2030, the number of people over the age of 55 will represent 35.2 per cent of the population in the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

This work is important.

The partners want to ensure that appropriate programs and services are available for all ages – now and in the future – in order to encourage the development of age-friendly communities.  

The first thing the partners did was to develop a unique core group to conduct the necessary planning and facilitation to complete this vital project.

Members represent Brantford-Brant MP Phil McColeman’s office, the Alzheimer Society, City of Brantford, County of Brant, Six Nations, Brantford Native Housing and they are joined by nine local retirees.   

The monthly core group meetings are co-chaired by Levac and GRCOA president Lucy Marco.

Having set the stage for a two year process, it seems incredible that the summit has already reached the midway point. Each gathering is based on a pillar taken from the Age-Friendly Cities Network developed by the World Health Organization. In April 2017, the partners will publish a final report.

Wanting to ensure that older adults from all parts of the Brant riding could take part, the gatherings are hosted at different locations, switching between the Brant Sports Complex, the Brantford and District Civic Centre or Six Nations Tourism.

To date, four gatherings have taken place.  

Preliminary reports have been written about “outdoor spaces and buildings,” “transportation,” “social participation” and “civic participation and employment.”

The results have been astounding. Ranging from the simple to the sublime, participants provided concrete suggestions for change, enhancement and improvement.   

The gatherings are open for everyone. Older adults, caregivers, family members, organizations, agencies and non-profits are all encouraged to take part.

After registration and a welcome of coffee, tea and sweets provided by Seasons Bell Lane, participants at each gathering are divided into small groups. Each group is led by a knowledgeable facilitator.  

Marco facilitates each gathering. The process has been similar at each, but the half-day sessions typically begin with greetings from Levac. On occasion, Mayor Chris Friel from the City of Brantford or Chief Ava Hill from Six Nations has joined him.

In addition, Brant councillor Shirley Simons attends as a participant.

At the gathering in November, the group was thrilled to welcome MPP Mario Sergio, the Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs. 

After the formalities, Marco outlines the topic for the day. She does considerable research to prepare for each session and as a result, is able to speak knowledgeably about each pillar.

As a skilled facilitator and trainer, Marco motivates her listeners, inspiring active participation at each table.

Following her remarks, the small groups break out for discussion. Each session always finishes with the convenors from each table reporting their group’s discussion points.

From the rough notes taken each time and from her solid memory and recall, Marco prepares a preliminary report after each gathering. These preliminary reports are available for anyone to see and are also posted on the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

The preliminary reports demonstrate insights based on experience from those present for the dialogue. They also show creativity and inspiration. Creating a more age-friendly community will benefit everyone, regardless of age.

Word about the Summit is getting out. Attendance has increased at each gathering with more than 65 people joining in for the gathering on “civic participation and employment.”

The age-friendly summit was designed to supplement and complement existing work, programs, activities and services. There may be small changes that could be accomplished quite easily at little cost that no one has ever thought of before. Levac calls these items “low-hanging fruit.”

There are definitely large challenges such as transportation that will require collaboration, innovation, partnership and financial resources to resolve. 

The planners are excited about the progress to date and are looking forward to another year of insight and discussion.

The next gathering will focus on “housing” and is scheduled for April 22, 2016, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.   

FOCUS ON SENIORS: GRCOA halfway through the summit

Preliminary reports available for four of eight age-friendly community gatherings

News Dec 23, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The age-friendly summit partnership between Brant MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging has completed four of its eight planned gatherings.

Using the experience of seniors, the primary objective of this partnership is to consider various aspects of daily living for the population as it ages.

Changing demographics forecast that by 2030, the number of people over the age of 55 will represent 35.2 per cent of the population in the City of Brantford and the County of Brant.

This work is important.

The partners want to ensure that appropriate programs and services are available for all ages – now and in the future – in order to encourage the development of age-friendly communities.  

The first thing the partners did was to develop a unique core group to conduct the necessary planning and facilitation to complete this vital project.

Members represent Brantford-Brant MP Phil McColeman’s office, the Alzheimer Society, City of Brantford, County of Brant, Six Nations, Brantford Native Housing and they are joined by nine local retirees.   

The monthly core group meetings are co-chaired by Levac and GRCOA president Lucy Marco.

Having set the stage for a two year process, it seems incredible that the summit has already reached the midway point. Each gathering is based on a pillar taken from the Age-Friendly Cities Network developed by the World Health Organization. In April 2017, the partners will publish a final report.

Wanting to ensure that older adults from all parts of the Brant riding could take part, the gatherings are hosted at different locations, switching between the Brant Sports Complex, the Brantford and District Civic Centre or Six Nations Tourism.

To date, four gatherings have taken place.  

Preliminary reports have been written about “outdoor spaces and buildings,” “transportation,” “social participation” and “civic participation and employment.”

The results have been astounding. Ranging from the simple to the sublime, participants provided concrete suggestions for change, enhancement and improvement.   

The gatherings are open for everyone. Older adults, caregivers, family members, organizations, agencies and non-profits are all encouraged to take part.

After registration and a welcome of coffee, tea and sweets provided by Seasons Bell Lane, participants at each gathering are divided into small groups. Each group is led by a knowledgeable facilitator.  

Marco facilitates each gathering. The process has been similar at each, but the half-day sessions typically begin with greetings from Levac. On occasion, Mayor Chris Friel from the City of Brantford or Chief Ava Hill from Six Nations has joined him.

In addition, Brant councillor Shirley Simons attends as a participant.

At the gathering in November, the group was thrilled to welcome MPP Mario Sergio, the Minister Responsible for Seniors Affairs. 

After the formalities, Marco outlines the topic for the day. She does considerable research to prepare for each session and as a result, is able to speak knowledgeably about each pillar.

As a skilled facilitator and trainer, Marco motivates her listeners, inspiring active participation at each table.

Following her remarks, the small groups break out for discussion. Each session always finishes with the convenors from each table reporting their group’s discussion points.

From the rough notes taken each time and from her solid memory and recall, Marco prepares a preliminary report after each gathering. These preliminary reports are available for anyone to see and are also posted on the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

The preliminary reports demonstrate insights based on experience from those present for the dialogue. They also show creativity and inspiration. Creating a more age-friendly community will benefit everyone, regardless of age.

Word about the Summit is getting out. Attendance has increased at each gathering with more than 65 people joining in for the gathering on “civic participation and employment.”

The age-friendly summit was designed to supplement and complement existing work, programs, activities and services. There may be small changes that could be accomplished quite easily at little cost that no one has ever thought of before. Levac calls these items “low-hanging fruit.”

There are definitely large challenges such as transportation that will require collaboration, innovation, partnership and financial resources to resolve. 

The planners are excited about the progress to date and are looking forward to another year of insight and discussion.

The next gathering will focus on “housing” and is scheduled for April 22, 2016, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.