FOCUS ON SENIORS: Summit series turns to health care

News Jun 10, 2016 by Sean Allen Brant News

Heading into the sixth of eight community gatherings on how to build an age-friendly Brant, Brantford and Six Nations community, Brant MPP Dave Levac said the summit series has been even better than he anticipated at creating engagement.

“These gatherings have given strength to individuals, not just organizations, to lend their stories to the research and evidence being accumulated,” Levac said. “When we hear from individuals (as opposed to organizations), they are putting a life in front of it."

The summit series was launched more than a year ago by Levac in partnership with the Grand River Council on Aging. Five gatherings have been held throughout the city, county and Six Nations, each focusing on one of the World Health Organization’s eight age-friendly community pillars.

The next gathering is scheduled for Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Hall, 1738 Fourth Line. The gathering will focus on the topic of community support and health service. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Levac said he expects the input from the community to highlight stories in the health-care system that identify what the community is doing right, but also to find potential gaps, duplication of services or other needs.

He said the tone from attendees may be positive or negative – but that’s a good thing.

“Our attitudes toward the health-care system are largely bent to how we experience it individually,” Levac said. “But we want all the stories. Any information we get that helps us make a more positive experience.

“Reducing wait times, making sure everyone has a health-care provider, are there enough family health teams or community health centres … all of those topics will be on the table for discussion."

The discussion will be broken down into sub-categories during the three-hour session that finishes at noon: service accessibility, offer of services, voluntary support and emergency planning.

Levac said service accessibility will be a big one.

“There are a wide range of things to talk about there,” he said. “If we have the service and it’s not accessible, something is wrong. If we have it, it’s accessible and people don’t know about it, it’s still being done wrong."

Looking at the volunteer aspects of health care will also be a crucial topic, Levac said.

“We have a very large army of volunteers that do a tremendous amount of work in the health-care system,” he said. “Are we using them the best way we could? Are we burning them out? How do we transition to the next wave of volunteers?"

Levac expects some of the discussion at Friday’s gathering to surround the recent consultant’s report that suggested the Brant Community Healthcare System divest itself of the Willett Urgent Care Centre in Paris.

“In trying to address the controversy created by that document that suggested the Willett might be closed, we are working with community partners to form a task force,” Levac said. “It’s similar to what the summit is doing – pull everyone into a room and work out a solution."

The "Willett task force" doesn’t have a firm date for a community meeting, but Levac promised better communication with Paris residents on the issue.

“No one ever said we would stop providing health-care in Paris,” he said. “The report said that delivering (health care) in an old building that sits half-empty might not be the best model.

“We all need to work on a solution for how we move forward delivering health care in Paris … and through discussion, we can ensure services are improved."

As the summit series heads toward its completion in October, Levac encourages the community to be patient to see actionable results.

“There’s going to be a period as this is ongoing where it feels like this is all just floating in the air … people might start asking, ‘Now what?’” Levac said. “We are going to take all of the information from each of the gatherings, condense it and turn it into a heading-by-heading list of recommendations."

The end result will not be unlike the outcome of a government inquiry, but with a different connotation, Levac said.

“What tends to happen with these kinds of reports is that they are designed to point out flaws and people use them to beat up government agencies or organizations with them,” he said. “They create a negative, reactive kind of story.

“We’ve taken that and turned it on its ear. We’ve gone out seeking all the information – both negative and positive – so that we can identify ways to make our community better. It will be very difficult to make this into a stick to beat people up with."

The final report will be distributed to stakeholders and decision-makers throughout the community so they can consider action on transforming Brant, Brantford and Six Nations toward the age-friendly pillars.

When the summit series was launched, Levac highlighted projections that have the region going from 41,000 residents age 55 or over, to almost 60,000 seniors during the next 15 years.

After Friday’s gathering, No. 7 will be held on Aug. 19 in the County of Brant on the topic of respect and social inclusion. The eighth and final gathering is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Brantford on communication and information.

More information on the age-friendly summit series is available online at www.GRCOA.ca or by calling 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Summit series turns to health care

Sixth age-friendly gathering scheduled for Friday, June 17, in Six Nations

News Jun 10, 2016 by Sean Allen Brant News

Heading into the sixth of eight community gatherings on how to build an age-friendly Brant, Brantford and Six Nations community, Brant MPP Dave Levac said the summit series has been even better than he anticipated at creating engagement.

“These gatherings have given strength to individuals, not just organizations, to lend their stories to the research and evidence being accumulated,” Levac said. “When we hear from individuals (as opposed to organizations), they are putting a life in front of it."

The summit series was launched more than a year ago by Levac in partnership with the Grand River Council on Aging. Five gatherings have been held throughout the city, county and Six Nations, each focusing on one of the World Health Organization’s eight age-friendly community pillars.

The next gathering is scheduled for Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Hall, 1738 Fourth Line. The gathering will focus on the topic of community support and health service. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Levac said he expects the input from the community to highlight stories in the health-care system that identify what the community is doing right, but also to find potential gaps, duplication of services or other needs.

He said the tone from attendees may be positive or negative – but that’s a good thing.

“Our attitudes toward the health-care system are largely bent to how we experience it individually,” Levac said. “But we want all the stories. Any information we get that helps us make a more positive experience.

“Reducing wait times, making sure everyone has a health-care provider, are there enough family health teams or community health centres … all of those topics will be on the table for discussion."

The discussion will be broken down into sub-categories during the three-hour session that finishes at noon: service accessibility, offer of services, voluntary support and emergency planning.

Levac said service accessibility will be a big one.

“There are a wide range of things to talk about there,” he said. “If we have the service and it’s not accessible, something is wrong. If we have it, it’s accessible and people don’t know about it, it’s still being done wrong."

Looking at the volunteer aspects of health care will also be a crucial topic, Levac said.

“We have a very large army of volunteers that do a tremendous amount of work in the health-care system,” he said. “Are we using them the best way we could? Are we burning them out? How do we transition to the next wave of volunteers?"

Levac expects some of the discussion at Friday’s gathering to surround the recent consultant’s report that suggested the Brant Community Healthcare System divest itself of the Willett Urgent Care Centre in Paris.

“In trying to address the controversy created by that document that suggested the Willett might be closed, we are working with community partners to form a task force,” Levac said. “It’s similar to what the summit is doing – pull everyone into a room and work out a solution."

The "Willett task force" doesn’t have a firm date for a community meeting, but Levac promised better communication with Paris residents on the issue.

“No one ever said we would stop providing health-care in Paris,” he said. “The report said that delivering (health care) in an old building that sits half-empty might not be the best model.

“We all need to work on a solution for how we move forward delivering health care in Paris … and through discussion, we can ensure services are improved."

As the summit series heads toward its completion in October, Levac encourages the community to be patient to see actionable results.

“There’s going to be a period as this is ongoing where it feels like this is all just floating in the air … people might start asking, ‘Now what?’” Levac said. “We are going to take all of the information from each of the gatherings, condense it and turn it into a heading-by-heading list of recommendations."

The end result will not be unlike the outcome of a government inquiry, but with a different connotation, Levac said.

“What tends to happen with these kinds of reports is that they are designed to point out flaws and people use them to beat up government agencies or organizations with them,” he said. “They create a negative, reactive kind of story.

“We’ve taken that and turned it on its ear. We’ve gone out seeking all the information – both negative and positive – so that we can identify ways to make our community better. It will be very difficult to make this into a stick to beat people up with."

The final report will be distributed to stakeholders and decision-makers throughout the community so they can consider action on transforming Brant, Brantford and Six Nations toward the age-friendly pillars.

When the summit series was launched, Levac highlighted projections that have the region going from 41,000 residents age 55 or over, to almost 60,000 seniors during the next 15 years.

After Friday’s gathering, No. 7 will be held on Aug. 19 in the County of Brant on the topic of respect and social inclusion. The eighth and final gathering is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Brantford on communication and information.

More information on the age-friendly summit series is available online at www.GRCOA.ca or by calling 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Summit series turns to health care

Sixth age-friendly gathering scheduled for Friday, June 17, in Six Nations

News Jun 10, 2016 by Sean Allen Brant News

Heading into the sixth of eight community gatherings on how to build an age-friendly Brant, Brantford and Six Nations community, Brant MPP Dave Levac said the summit series has been even better than he anticipated at creating engagement.

“These gatherings have given strength to individuals, not just organizations, to lend their stories to the research and evidence being accumulated,” Levac said. “When we hear from individuals (as opposed to organizations), they are putting a life in front of it."

The summit series was launched more than a year ago by Levac in partnership with the Grand River Council on Aging. Five gatherings have been held throughout the city, county and Six Nations, each focusing on one of the World Health Organization’s eight age-friendly community pillars.

The next gathering is scheduled for Friday, June 17, at the Six Nations Community Hall, 1738 Fourth Line. The gathering will focus on the topic of community support and health service. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. with the discussion beginning at 9 a.m.

Levac said he expects the input from the community to highlight stories in the health-care system that identify what the community is doing right, but also to find potential gaps, duplication of services or other needs.

He said the tone from attendees may be positive or negative – but that’s a good thing.

“Our attitudes toward the health-care system are largely bent to how we experience it individually,” Levac said. “But we want all the stories. Any information we get that helps us make a more positive experience.

“Reducing wait times, making sure everyone has a health-care provider, are there enough family health teams or community health centres … all of those topics will be on the table for discussion."

The discussion will be broken down into sub-categories during the three-hour session that finishes at noon: service accessibility, offer of services, voluntary support and emergency planning.

Levac said service accessibility will be a big one.

“There are a wide range of things to talk about there,” he said. “If we have the service and it’s not accessible, something is wrong. If we have it, it’s accessible and people don’t know about it, it’s still being done wrong."

Looking at the volunteer aspects of health care will also be a crucial topic, Levac said.

“We have a very large army of volunteers that do a tremendous amount of work in the health-care system,” he said. “Are we using them the best way we could? Are we burning them out? How do we transition to the next wave of volunteers?"

Levac expects some of the discussion at Friday’s gathering to surround the recent consultant’s report that suggested the Brant Community Healthcare System divest itself of the Willett Urgent Care Centre in Paris.

“In trying to address the controversy created by that document that suggested the Willett might be closed, we are working with community partners to form a task force,” Levac said. “It’s similar to what the summit is doing – pull everyone into a room and work out a solution."

The "Willett task force" doesn’t have a firm date for a community meeting, but Levac promised better communication with Paris residents on the issue.

“No one ever said we would stop providing health-care in Paris,” he said. “The report said that delivering (health care) in an old building that sits half-empty might not be the best model.

“We all need to work on a solution for how we move forward delivering health care in Paris … and through discussion, we can ensure services are improved."

As the summit series heads toward its completion in October, Levac encourages the community to be patient to see actionable results.

“There’s going to be a period as this is ongoing where it feels like this is all just floating in the air … people might start asking, ‘Now what?’” Levac said. “We are going to take all of the information from each of the gatherings, condense it and turn it into a heading-by-heading list of recommendations."

The end result will not be unlike the outcome of a government inquiry, but with a different connotation, Levac said.

“What tends to happen with these kinds of reports is that they are designed to point out flaws and people use them to beat up government agencies or organizations with them,” he said. “They create a negative, reactive kind of story.

“We’ve taken that and turned it on its ear. We’ve gone out seeking all the information – both negative and positive – so that we can identify ways to make our community better. It will be very difficult to make this into a stick to beat people up with."

The final report will be distributed to stakeholders and decision-makers throughout the community so they can consider action on transforming Brant, Brantford and Six Nations toward the age-friendly pillars.

When the summit series was launched, Levac highlighted projections that have the region going from 41,000 residents age 55 or over, to almost 60,000 seniors during the next 15 years.

After Friday’s gathering, No. 7 will be held on Aug. 19 in the County of Brant on the topic of respect and social inclusion. The eighth and final gathering is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Brantford on communication and information.

More information on the age-friendly summit series is available online at www.GRCOA.ca or by calling 519-754-0777, ext. 439.