FOCUS ON SENIORS: Spreading age-friendly awareness

News Jun 09, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging is considered a leader throughout Ontario and is proud of that recognition. It reflects the tireless efforts of a small group of people working to promote the voice of seniors.

It started in 2007, when Dr. Jean Kincade made a community presentation, in which she described the development of a “master aging plan” (MAP) during her tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina.

That presentation had a dramatic impact on those who heard Kincade’s message. It inspired and motivated a movement that very quickly changed our community. As a result, a master aging plan, or MAP, for Brantford and the County of Brant was developed and published in 2008.  

Known today as a “strategic plan for an age-friendly community,” the MAP contains 99 recommendations.

The Grand River Council on Aging was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization, dedicated to creating a community for a lifetime through planning, research and education.

Knowledge of this work spread quickly, resulting in more than a dozen other municipalities asking for and receiving information and support on how to develop their own needs assessments and strategic age-friendly plans.

Kincade, as vice president, and president Lucy Marco have been pleased to volunteer their expertise and knowledge and freely share their combined experience.

It would be difficult to estimate the time these two women have invested in this mission. In addition to serving as officers on the board of directors for the Grand River Council on Aging, Marco and Kincade are members of the Southwestern Age-Friendly Network. This network of municipalities and councils on aging meets bi-monthly. Marco is also part of the effort to establish an Ontario Association of Councils on Aging.  

Today, the Grand River Council on Aging has a 15-member board of directors and a part-time executive director. The Alzheimer Society, Brantford Public Library, Brantford Native Housing, Community Care Access Centre, Grand River Community Health Centre and Laurier Brantford each have a seat at the table, assigning a staff member to represent them on the board.  

The nine retiree members of the board bring a variety of skills and expertise. It has become a running joke that if Lucy invites you for a coffee, you may become a member of the Grand River Council on Aging board of directors, or a valued volunteer for support of an activity.

In 2016, the Grand River Council on Aging is busier than ever. Partnering with MPP Dave Levac to facilitate the Age-Friendly Community Summit, participating in the annual CARP Fair, hosting the “Workshop on a Bus” in celebration of National Seniors Day, developing an age-friendly business accreditation process and maintaining the Focus on Seniors column in Brant News require many loyal, dedicated volunteers.

People interested in volunteering for the Grand River Council on Aging have several options.

The communication committee offers education opportunities, hosts community forums and facilitates meetings on relevant issues. The sustainability committee was created to raise critical funds to support the operating costs of the organization.  

Building on the success of the 2015 prominent speaker event – when more than 430 seniors gathered to hear guest speaker Hazel McCallion – a similar event is planned for the fall of 2016. The event committee has done its homework and plans to engage another speaker with a powerful message.

The event committee is also planning a festival for 2017 with a goal to engage students from Laurier Brantford and Conestoga College as volunteers.  Engaging youth provides opportunities to introduce them to healthy attitudes about aging and community development.

Volunteers are always needed to perform vital backup roles and ensure things run smoothly.  Maintaining the website, writing stories for Brant News, bookkeeping and other necessary tasks are also performed by volunteers.  

Volunteers who live in the City of Brantford or County of Brant are always needed. They have lived experience about the needs of their particular community. Transportation, housing and other community service needs can be markedly different for those living in urban or rural areas.

There is a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” For years, Marco and Kincade faced a lonely struggle to get their message across. Today, as more people and communities strive to carry the age-friendly banner, the struggle is how to respond to the influx of requests for assistance from our communities when considering change.   

Seniors participating in the Grand River Council on Aging consultation processes say it best: “When planning for the future, ask a senior to take part.”

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Spreading age-friendly awareness

Dr. Jean Kincade, Lucy Marco and a team of volunteers put their focus on seniors

News Jun 09, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging is considered a leader throughout Ontario and is proud of that recognition. It reflects the tireless efforts of a small group of people working to promote the voice of seniors.

It started in 2007, when Dr. Jean Kincade made a community presentation, in which she described the development of a “master aging plan” (MAP) during her tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina.

That presentation had a dramatic impact on those who heard Kincade’s message. It inspired and motivated a movement that very quickly changed our community. As a result, a master aging plan, or MAP, for Brantford and the County of Brant was developed and published in 2008.  

Known today as a “strategic plan for an age-friendly community,” the MAP contains 99 recommendations.

The Grand River Council on Aging was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization, dedicated to creating a community for a lifetime through planning, research and education.

Knowledge of this work spread quickly, resulting in more than a dozen other municipalities asking for and receiving information and support on how to develop their own needs assessments and strategic age-friendly plans.

Kincade, as vice president, and president Lucy Marco have been pleased to volunteer their expertise and knowledge and freely share their combined experience.

It would be difficult to estimate the time these two women have invested in this mission. In addition to serving as officers on the board of directors for the Grand River Council on Aging, Marco and Kincade are members of the Southwestern Age-Friendly Network. This network of municipalities and councils on aging meets bi-monthly. Marco is also part of the effort to establish an Ontario Association of Councils on Aging.  

Today, the Grand River Council on Aging has a 15-member board of directors and a part-time executive director. The Alzheimer Society, Brantford Public Library, Brantford Native Housing, Community Care Access Centre, Grand River Community Health Centre and Laurier Brantford each have a seat at the table, assigning a staff member to represent them on the board.  

The nine retiree members of the board bring a variety of skills and expertise. It has become a running joke that if Lucy invites you for a coffee, you may become a member of the Grand River Council on Aging board of directors, or a valued volunteer for support of an activity.

In 2016, the Grand River Council on Aging is busier than ever. Partnering with MPP Dave Levac to facilitate the Age-Friendly Community Summit, participating in the annual CARP Fair, hosting the “Workshop on a Bus” in celebration of National Seniors Day, developing an age-friendly business accreditation process and maintaining the Focus on Seniors column in Brant News require many loyal, dedicated volunteers.

People interested in volunteering for the Grand River Council on Aging have several options.

The communication committee offers education opportunities, hosts community forums and facilitates meetings on relevant issues. The sustainability committee was created to raise critical funds to support the operating costs of the organization.  

Building on the success of the 2015 prominent speaker event – when more than 430 seniors gathered to hear guest speaker Hazel McCallion – a similar event is planned for the fall of 2016. The event committee has done its homework and plans to engage another speaker with a powerful message.

The event committee is also planning a festival for 2017 with a goal to engage students from Laurier Brantford and Conestoga College as volunteers.  Engaging youth provides opportunities to introduce them to healthy attitudes about aging and community development.

Volunteers are always needed to perform vital backup roles and ensure things run smoothly.  Maintaining the website, writing stories for Brant News, bookkeeping and other necessary tasks are also performed by volunteers.  

Volunteers who live in the City of Brantford or County of Brant are always needed. They have lived experience about the needs of their particular community. Transportation, housing and other community service needs can be markedly different for those living in urban or rural areas.

There is a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” For years, Marco and Kincade faced a lonely struggle to get their message across. Today, as more people and communities strive to carry the age-friendly banner, the struggle is how to respond to the influx of requests for assistance from our communities when considering change.   

Seniors participating in the Grand River Council on Aging consultation processes say it best: “When planning for the future, ask a senior to take part.”

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Spreading age-friendly awareness

Dr. Jean Kincade, Lucy Marco and a team of volunteers put their focus on seniors

News Jun 09, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging is considered a leader throughout Ontario and is proud of that recognition. It reflects the tireless efforts of a small group of people working to promote the voice of seniors.

It started in 2007, when Dr. Jean Kincade made a community presentation, in which she described the development of a “master aging plan” (MAP) during her tenure as a professor at the University of North Carolina.

That presentation had a dramatic impact on those who heard Kincade’s message. It inspired and motivated a movement that very quickly changed our community. As a result, a master aging plan, or MAP, for Brantford and the County of Brant was developed and published in 2008.  

Known today as a “strategic plan for an age-friendly community,” the MAP contains 99 recommendations.

The Grand River Council on Aging was established in 2010 as a non-profit organization, dedicated to creating a community for a lifetime through planning, research and education.

Knowledge of this work spread quickly, resulting in more than a dozen other municipalities asking for and receiving information and support on how to develop their own needs assessments and strategic age-friendly plans.

Kincade, as vice president, and president Lucy Marco have been pleased to volunteer their expertise and knowledge and freely share their combined experience.

It would be difficult to estimate the time these two women have invested in this mission. In addition to serving as officers on the board of directors for the Grand River Council on Aging, Marco and Kincade are members of the Southwestern Age-Friendly Network. This network of municipalities and councils on aging meets bi-monthly. Marco is also part of the effort to establish an Ontario Association of Councils on Aging.  

Today, the Grand River Council on Aging has a 15-member board of directors and a part-time executive director. The Alzheimer Society, Brantford Public Library, Brantford Native Housing, Community Care Access Centre, Grand River Community Health Centre and Laurier Brantford each have a seat at the table, assigning a staff member to represent them on the board.  

The nine retiree members of the board bring a variety of skills and expertise. It has become a running joke that if Lucy invites you for a coffee, you may become a member of the Grand River Council on Aging board of directors, or a valued volunteer for support of an activity.

In 2016, the Grand River Council on Aging is busier than ever. Partnering with MPP Dave Levac to facilitate the Age-Friendly Community Summit, participating in the annual CARP Fair, hosting the “Workshop on a Bus” in celebration of National Seniors Day, developing an age-friendly business accreditation process and maintaining the Focus on Seniors column in Brant News require many loyal, dedicated volunteers.

People interested in volunteering for the Grand River Council on Aging have several options.

The communication committee offers education opportunities, hosts community forums and facilitates meetings on relevant issues. The sustainability committee was created to raise critical funds to support the operating costs of the organization.  

Building on the success of the 2015 prominent speaker event – when more than 430 seniors gathered to hear guest speaker Hazel McCallion – a similar event is planned for the fall of 2016. The event committee has done its homework and plans to engage another speaker with a powerful message.

The event committee is also planning a festival for 2017 with a goal to engage students from Laurier Brantford and Conestoga College as volunteers.  Engaging youth provides opportunities to introduce them to healthy attitudes about aging and community development.

Volunteers are always needed to perform vital backup roles and ensure things run smoothly.  Maintaining the website, writing stories for Brant News, bookkeeping and other necessary tasks are also performed by volunteers.  

Volunteers who live in the City of Brantford or County of Brant are always needed. They have lived experience about the needs of their particular community. Transportation, housing and other community service needs can be markedly different for those living in urban or rural areas.

There is a saying that “it takes a village to raise a child.” For years, Marco and Kincade faced a lonely struggle to get their message across. Today, as more people and communities strive to carry the age-friendly banner, the struggle is how to respond to the influx of requests for assistance from our communities when considering change.   

Seniors participating in the Grand River Council on Aging consultation processes say it best: “When planning for the future, ask a senior to take part.”