Aging summit series tackles community and health services

News Jun 21, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging's ongoing series of age-friendly community summits continued on Friday with a focus on community supports and health services.

Sixty participants met at the Six Nations Community Hall in Ohsweken for sixth time and were greeting by Elected Chief Ava Hill, who said she is very proud of the services and supports available to seniors in her community.

"I like to brag whenever I have the opportunity about our community," she said.

Hill singled out the staff of long-term care facilities such as Iroquois Lodge who care for Six Nations seniors and the upcoming and very popular strawberry social.

"They love it," she said.

Hill said Six Nations has its own dialysis unit, which is open to anyone, and saves many the bother of having to drive into the city for treatment.

"We also have our own family health team," Hill told the summit participants. "I encourage you to get to know our staff and our facilities. Do they need improvement?"

"Our elders are very precious to us. They are gems in our community. It's important for us to make our community age-friendly and keep them around as long as possible."

Brantford-Brant MPP Dave Levac, who co-founded the summit series with the GRCOA thanked president Lucy Marco for making the brainstorming sessions possible and educating him on the true scope of their potential impact.

"This idea started out as being about seniors, but Lucy talked me through it to realize it's about aging, because some of the people these summits impact are very young," Levac said.

Levac said the work of the GRCOA is being paid attention to by a broad audience to see how they are addressing issues related to aging and formulating solutions to better address those issues.

"Our intent here is to produce a very impressive piece of work," Levac said of the summits. "And it won't be complete until it gets into the hands of decision makers; the Prime Minister, the ministers, the mayors, the chiefs will all get a copy with the expectation those decision makers must get to work and find some low-hanging fruit."

Levac asked that all the participants not "hold back."

"Health care is personal, so we need to hear your stories," he said.

Marco said she is proud to point out that the summit series planning committee is "very unusual" because it includes representatives from all levels of government, along with retirees. On Friday, the summit included 34 retirees and 26 representatives (seven from Six Nations) from 15 agencies.

Participants spent the following two hours discussing in groups issues such as service accessibility, seniors involvement, emergency planning, what is missing from services, how they can be improved and much more.

Marco said one of the key pieces of feedback provided from the summit group is that most of the services seniors need are not accessible enough.

"Too often the need for transportation for seniors to access these services is not taken into consideration," Marco said.

Marco said the group concluded there is a great need for consultants who can help seniors understand, navigate and access services in the community. There is also a need for professionals who can help seniors adjust to being back home after spending time in the hospital.

When it comes to customer service, a common complaint at the summit was that many of the younger people in the field don't display much sensitivity or patience with seniors who don't immediately understand new technologies and products. For that reason, they would like to see more customer service training by employers.

The next meeting of the age-friendly community summit series is scheduled for September and will tackle "respect and social inclusion." The final summit will address "community and information."

Marco said a full report of the community support and health services summit will be posted to grcoa.ca in the coming weeks.

Aging summit series tackles community and health services

Obstacles include lack of transportation, training and consultants

News Jun 21, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging's ongoing series of age-friendly community summits continued on Friday with a focus on community supports and health services.

Sixty participants met at the Six Nations Community Hall in Ohsweken for sixth time and were greeting by Elected Chief Ava Hill, who said she is very proud of the services and supports available to seniors in her community.

"I like to brag whenever I have the opportunity about our community," she said.

Hill singled out the staff of long-term care facilities such as Iroquois Lodge who care for Six Nations seniors and the upcoming and very popular strawberry social.

"They love it," she said.

Hill said Six Nations has its own dialysis unit, which is open to anyone, and saves many the bother of having to drive into the city for treatment.

"We also have our own family health team," Hill told the summit participants. "I encourage you to get to know our staff and our facilities. Do they need improvement?"

"Our elders are very precious to us. They are gems in our community. It's important for us to make our community age-friendly and keep them around as long as possible."

Brantford-Brant MPP Dave Levac, who co-founded the summit series with the GRCOA thanked president Lucy Marco for making the brainstorming sessions possible and educating him on the true scope of their potential impact.

"This idea started out as being about seniors, but Lucy talked me through it to realize it's about aging, because some of the people these summits impact are very young," Levac said.

Levac said the work of the GRCOA is being paid attention to by a broad audience to see how they are addressing issues related to aging and formulating solutions to better address those issues.

"Our intent here is to produce a very impressive piece of work," Levac said of the summits. "And it won't be complete until it gets into the hands of decision makers; the Prime Minister, the ministers, the mayors, the chiefs will all get a copy with the expectation those decision makers must get to work and find some low-hanging fruit."

Levac asked that all the participants not "hold back."

"Health care is personal, so we need to hear your stories," he said.

Marco said she is proud to point out that the summit series planning committee is "very unusual" because it includes representatives from all levels of government, along with retirees. On Friday, the summit included 34 retirees and 26 representatives (seven from Six Nations) from 15 agencies.

Participants spent the following two hours discussing in groups issues such as service accessibility, seniors involvement, emergency planning, what is missing from services, how they can be improved and much more.

Marco said one of the key pieces of feedback provided from the summit group is that most of the services seniors need are not accessible enough.

"Too often the need for transportation for seniors to access these services is not taken into consideration," Marco said.

Marco said the group concluded there is a great need for consultants who can help seniors understand, navigate and access services in the community. There is also a need for professionals who can help seniors adjust to being back home after spending time in the hospital.

When it comes to customer service, a common complaint at the summit was that many of the younger people in the field don't display much sensitivity or patience with seniors who don't immediately understand new technologies and products. For that reason, they would like to see more customer service training by employers.

The next meeting of the age-friendly community summit series is scheduled for September and will tackle "respect and social inclusion." The final summit will address "community and information."

Marco said a full report of the community support and health services summit will be posted to grcoa.ca in the coming weeks.

Aging summit series tackles community and health services

Obstacles include lack of transportation, training and consultants

News Jun 21, 2016 by Mike Peeling Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging's ongoing series of age-friendly community summits continued on Friday with a focus on community supports and health services.

Sixty participants met at the Six Nations Community Hall in Ohsweken for sixth time and were greeting by Elected Chief Ava Hill, who said she is very proud of the services and supports available to seniors in her community.

"I like to brag whenever I have the opportunity about our community," she said.

Hill singled out the staff of long-term care facilities such as Iroquois Lodge who care for Six Nations seniors and the upcoming and very popular strawberry social.

"They love it," she said.

Hill said Six Nations has its own dialysis unit, which is open to anyone, and saves many the bother of having to drive into the city for treatment.

"We also have our own family health team," Hill told the summit participants. "I encourage you to get to know our staff and our facilities. Do they need improvement?"

"Our elders are very precious to us. They are gems in our community. It's important for us to make our community age-friendly and keep them around as long as possible."

Brantford-Brant MPP Dave Levac, who co-founded the summit series with the GRCOA thanked president Lucy Marco for making the brainstorming sessions possible and educating him on the true scope of their potential impact.

"This idea started out as being about seniors, but Lucy talked me through it to realize it's about aging, because some of the people these summits impact are very young," Levac said.

Levac said the work of the GRCOA is being paid attention to by a broad audience to see how they are addressing issues related to aging and formulating solutions to better address those issues.

"Our intent here is to produce a very impressive piece of work," Levac said of the summits. "And it won't be complete until it gets into the hands of decision makers; the Prime Minister, the ministers, the mayors, the chiefs will all get a copy with the expectation those decision makers must get to work and find some low-hanging fruit."

Levac asked that all the participants not "hold back."

"Health care is personal, so we need to hear your stories," he said.

Marco said she is proud to point out that the summit series planning committee is "very unusual" because it includes representatives from all levels of government, along with retirees. On Friday, the summit included 34 retirees and 26 representatives (seven from Six Nations) from 15 agencies.

Participants spent the following two hours discussing in groups issues such as service accessibility, seniors involvement, emergency planning, what is missing from services, how they can be improved and much more.

Marco said one of the key pieces of feedback provided from the summit group is that most of the services seniors need are not accessible enough.

"Too often the need for transportation for seniors to access these services is not taken into consideration," Marco said.

Marco said the group concluded there is a great need for consultants who can help seniors understand, navigate and access services in the community. There is also a need for professionals who can help seniors adjust to being back home after spending time in the hospital.

When it comes to customer service, a common complaint at the summit was that many of the younger people in the field don't display much sensitivity or patience with seniors who don't immediately understand new technologies and products. For that reason, they would like to see more customer service training by employers.

The next meeting of the age-friendly community summit series is scheduled for September and will tackle "respect and social inclusion." The final summit will address "community and information."

Marco said a full report of the community support and health services summit will be posted to grcoa.ca in the coming weeks.