Housing up next in aging series

News Mar 15, 2016 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Housing is the next topic to be tackled in the summit series addressing the challenges of an aging population.

“It’s going to be a fascinating session,” said Lucy Marco, president of the Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA).

Marco used a gathering at GRCOA’s office at the Grand River Community Health Centre on Friday to throw a couple of ideas into the mix ahead of next month’s summit, to be held April 22 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre.

“A very real gap is affordable maintenance services for little jobs. This is a big complaint from seniors. There is no way to access affordable small jobs services,” she said.

Examples of little jobs include changing a light bulb for someone no longer able to climb a step stool or stepladder or fixing a leaky faucet.

A broader issue is helping families understand the types of housing available and options to assist seniors in their homes. Too often, families react to a crisis versus planning ahead.

“There’s a need to have families understand that they should be planning options for change,” Marco said.

She encouraged builders to build age-friendly housing, like the 40-unit seniors residence to be built on the grounds of John Noble Home.

“All units will be designed for seniors to age in place,” said Jeff Lowe, Brantford’s housing development co-ordinator.

Features include lower light switches, wider doors and corridors for easier access for people who use assistive devices, colour coding to differentiate floors, roll-in showers and no carpeting, which can be a trip hazard, he said.

GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac are holding eight summits, which mirror the eight pillars of an age-friendly community developed by the World Health Organization, with the intent to make Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations and New Credit an age-friendly community. They’re at the midway point in the series.

Reports from the first four summits on outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, social participation and civic participation and employment are available at www.grcoa.ca.

Some ideas brainstormed at the summits are already gaining traction.

GRCOA filed a grant application with the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding to study social isolation of seniors. The project is called “phone pals.”

Phone pals was one of the ideas raised at the summit on social participation in September.

There are 41,000 people over age 55 living in Brantford and County of Brant but that number is expected to grow to over 59,300 in 15 years. The bubble of senior-age people is expected to strain existing programs and infrastructure.

Each summit looks for issues, opportunities, gaps and suggestions and makes recommendations how they can be implemented in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and New Credit – the four local governments within Brant riding.

Levac promised the final report, as well as serving as a road map for the local municipalities, would be shared with the provincial and federal governments and other municipalities.

“The idea is to produce a piece of work that people can grab hold of and say, ‘these are the things we discovered with our consultation with the people that are directly impacted by aging,’” Levac said.

GRCOA is looking to increase the number of senior retirees on its board from three to six. It would increase the board to 15 members, up from the current 12.

The change will be implemented at GRCOA’s annual general meeting in June.

Interested individuals are asked to contact GRCOA executive director Kathryn Poirier at kathy@grcoa.ca or call at 519-754-0777, ext. 438.

Housing up next in aging series

News Mar 15, 2016 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Housing is the next topic to be tackled in the summit series addressing the challenges of an aging population.

“It’s going to be a fascinating session,” said Lucy Marco, president of the Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA).

Marco used a gathering at GRCOA’s office at the Grand River Community Health Centre on Friday to throw a couple of ideas into the mix ahead of next month’s summit, to be held April 22 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre.

“A very real gap is affordable maintenance services for little jobs. This is a big complaint from seniors. There is no way to access affordable small jobs services,” she said.

Examples of little jobs include changing a light bulb for someone no longer able to climb a step stool or stepladder or fixing a leaky faucet.

A broader issue is helping families understand the types of housing available and options to assist seniors in their homes. Too often, families react to a crisis versus planning ahead.

“There’s a need to have families understand that they should be planning options for change,” Marco said.

She encouraged builders to build age-friendly housing, like the 40-unit seniors residence to be built on the grounds of John Noble Home.

“All units will be designed for seniors to age in place,” said Jeff Lowe, Brantford’s housing development co-ordinator.

Features include lower light switches, wider doors and corridors for easier access for people who use assistive devices, colour coding to differentiate floors, roll-in showers and no carpeting, which can be a trip hazard, he said.

GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac are holding eight summits, which mirror the eight pillars of an age-friendly community developed by the World Health Organization, with the intent to make Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations and New Credit an age-friendly community. They’re at the midway point in the series.

Reports from the first four summits on outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, social participation and civic participation and employment are available at www.grcoa.ca.

Some ideas brainstormed at the summits are already gaining traction.

GRCOA filed a grant application with the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding to study social isolation of seniors. The project is called “phone pals.”

Phone pals was one of the ideas raised at the summit on social participation in September.

There are 41,000 people over age 55 living in Brantford and County of Brant but that number is expected to grow to over 59,300 in 15 years. The bubble of senior-age people is expected to strain existing programs and infrastructure.

Each summit looks for issues, opportunities, gaps and suggestions and makes recommendations how they can be implemented in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and New Credit – the four local governments within Brant riding.

Levac promised the final report, as well as serving as a road map for the local municipalities, would be shared with the provincial and federal governments and other municipalities.

“The idea is to produce a piece of work that people can grab hold of and say, ‘these are the things we discovered with our consultation with the people that are directly impacted by aging,’” Levac said.

GRCOA is looking to increase the number of senior retirees on its board from three to six. It would increase the board to 15 members, up from the current 12.

The change will be implemented at GRCOA’s annual general meeting in June.

Interested individuals are asked to contact GRCOA executive director Kathryn Poirier at kathy@grcoa.ca or call at 519-754-0777, ext. 438.

Housing up next in aging series

News Mar 15, 2016 by Brian Shypula Brant News

Housing is the next topic to be tackled in the summit series addressing the challenges of an aging population.

“It’s going to be a fascinating session,” said Lucy Marco, president of the Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA).

Marco used a gathering at GRCOA’s office at the Grand River Community Health Centre on Friday to throw a couple of ideas into the mix ahead of next month’s summit, to be held April 22 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre.

“A very real gap is affordable maintenance services for little jobs. This is a big complaint from seniors. There is no way to access affordable small jobs services,” she said.

Examples of little jobs include changing a light bulb for someone no longer able to climb a step stool or stepladder or fixing a leaky faucet.

A broader issue is helping families understand the types of housing available and options to assist seniors in their homes. Too often, families react to a crisis versus planning ahead.

“There’s a need to have families understand that they should be planning options for change,” Marco said.

She encouraged builders to build age-friendly housing, like the 40-unit seniors residence to be built on the grounds of John Noble Home.

“All units will be designed for seniors to age in place,” said Jeff Lowe, Brantford’s housing development co-ordinator.

Features include lower light switches, wider doors and corridors for easier access for people who use assistive devices, colour coding to differentiate floors, roll-in showers and no carpeting, which can be a trip hazard, he said.

GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac are holding eight summits, which mirror the eight pillars of an age-friendly community developed by the World Health Organization, with the intent to make Brantford, Brant County, Six Nations and New Credit an age-friendly community. They’re at the midway point in the series.

Reports from the first four summits on outdoor spaces and buildings, transportation, social participation and civic participation and employment are available at www.grcoa.ca.

Some ideas brainstormed at the summits are already gaining traction.

GRCOA filed a grant application with the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding to study social isolation of seniors. The project is called “phone pals.”

Phone pals was one of the ideas raised at the summit on social participation in September.

There are 41,000 people over age 55 living in Brantford and County of Brant but that number is expected to grow to over 59,300 in 15 years. The bubble of senior-age people is expected to strain existing programs and infrastructure.

Each summit looks for issues, opportunities, gaps and suggestions and makes recommendations how they can be implemented in Brantford, Brant, Six Nations and New Credit – the four local governments within Brant riding.

Levac promised the final report, as well as serving as a road map for the local municipalities, would be shared with the provincial and federal governments and other municipalities.

“The idea is to produce a piece of work that people can grab hold of and say, ‘these are the things we discovered with our consultation with the people that are directly impacted by aging,’” Levac said.

GRCOA is looking to increase the number of senior retirees on its board from three to six. It would increase the board to 15 members, up from the current 12.

The change will be implemented at GRCOA’s annual general meeting in June.

Interested individuals are asked to contact GRCOA executive director Kathryn Poirier at kathy@grcoa.ca or call at 519-754-0777, ext. 438.