FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant’s age-friendly summit series

Opinion May 01, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Age-Friendly Community Summit has been launched. A press conference on March 27 announced the initiative. Two orientation workshops – on April 17 and April 24 – followed.

Interest from the community is growing quickly as more and more people learn of the summit.

Brant MPP Dave Levac made a commitment during the 2014 provincial election to engage stakeholders and bring focus to the needs and concerns of seniors in our community. To ensure there is a community voice heavily engaged in the process, the Grand River Council on Aging agreed to co-chair the initiative.

A core committee was created to plan and implement the summit. This committee draws its members from the offices of Levac, Brant MP Phil McColeman, the Grand River Council on Aging, City of Brantford, the County of Brant, Six Nations, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Brantford Native Housing, as well as six retirees. Several key resource members are on hand to provide specific expertise.

Committee members agreed that to create an age-friendly community for a lifetime, the focus of the summit should be age-friendly. Rather than just focusing on the needs of older adults and seniors, the Age-Friendly Community Summit acknowledges the statement that “what works for age five, will work for 105.”

The summit is expected to conclude with a final report listing actions in April 2017. Community meetings that focus on a specific aspect of daily living will take place every other month and be held in the City of Brantford, County of Brant and Six Nations. The first gathering on “outdoor spaces and public buildings” is scheduled for May 29 at the Brant Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

These gatherings are for everyone – older adults, seniors, caregivers, family members, community stakeholders and organizations that work with or for seniors.

The orientation workshops were provided to introduce the summit process, its goals and timelines. Another objective was to inspire and encourage participants to get involved over the long term. People from all walks of life and various backgrounds attended. The results were exciting.

Comments from the evaluations told the tale. Those in attendance are looking forward to their future involvement, agreed the process is very much needed and appreciated the opportunity to give input.

Participants were also called to action.

In order to facilitate planning, the core committee wanted to know which of the eight summit gatherings they would be interested in attending.

Some examples for “outdoor spaces and buildings” were access to trails, sufficient rest areas and neighbourhood green spaces. For “transportation,” people identified the County of Brant and caregiver parking for medical visits as concerns. Examples for “social participation and inclusion” were recreational options, accessibility and affordability with an emphasis on including youth in programming.

“Civic participation and employment” should reflect on the numbers of persons working past the age of 65 and their reasons for doing so.

The “housing” gathering will likely discuss topics including accessibility, affordability, aging at home, crisis housing for older adults and the length of the waiting list for subsidized housing.

“Community support and health services” appears to be a big concern. People want to discuss dementia living options, caregiver options, and affordable home care.

It was agreed by all that “respect and social inclusion” should focus on encouraging respect for all and to look at a buddy system for isolated seniors. The final gathering, “communication and information” could look at ways to include young people teaching technology to older adults and demonstrate libraries as go-to destinations for all.

The input received from the orientation workshops will guide the planning of the eight gatherings. The core committee thanks every participant for their time and thoughtful responses.

In summing up the work to date, co-chair Lucy Marco had this to say: “It was so rewarding to witness the genuine concern for ensuring that planning takes place for a safe and respectful community for all residents, no matter their age. From the date of our birth until we die, we experience change. Who better to share the voice of experience than those who have lived it.”

For more information please call the Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0777, ext. 438, or visit the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

Watch this page for further details including dates, locations and times for all eight gatherings.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant’s age-friendly summit series

First gathering set for May 29 at Brant Sports Complex

Opinion May 01, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Age-Friendly Community Summit has been launched. A press conference on March 27 announced the initiative. Two orientation workshops – on April 17 and April 24 – followed.

Interest from the community is growing quickly as more and more people learn of the summit.

Brant MPP Dave Levac made a commitment during the 2014 provincial election to engage stakeholders and bring focus to the needs and concerns of seniors in our community. To ensure there is a community voice heavily engaged in the process, the Grand River Council on Aging agreed to co-chair the initiative.

A core committee was created to plan and implement the summit. This committee draws its members from the offices of Levac, Brant MP Phil McColeman, the Grand River Council on Aging, City of Brantford, the County of Brant, Six Nations, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Brantford Native Housing, as well as six retirees. Several key resource members are on hand to provide specific expertise.

Committee members agreed that to create an age-friendly community for a lifetime, the focus of the summit should be age-friendly. Rather than just focusing on the needs of older adults and seniors, the Age-Friendly Community Summit acknowledges the statement that “what works for age five, will work for 105.”

The summit is expected to conclude with a final report listing actions in April 2017. Community meetings that focus on a specific aspect of daily living will take place every other month and be held in the City of Brantford, County of Brant and Six Nations. The first gathering on “outdoor spaces and public buildings” is scheduled for May 29 at the Brant Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

These gatherings are for everyone – older adults, seniors, caregivers, family members, community stakeholders and organizations that work with or for seniors.

The orientation workshops were provided to introduce the summit process, its goals and timelines. Another objective was to inspire and encourage participants to get involved over the long term. People from all walks of life and various backgrounds attended. The results were exciting.

Comments from the evaluations told the tale. Those in attendance are looking forward to their future involvement, agreed the process is very much needed and appreciated the opportunity to give input.

Participants were also called to action.

In order to facilitate planning, the core committee wanted to know which of the eight summit gatherings they would be interested in attending.

Some examples for “outdoor spaces and buildings” were access to trails, sufficient rest areas and neighbourhood green spaces. For “transportation,” people identified the County of Brant and caregiver parking for medical visits as concerns. Examples for “social participation and inclusion” were recreational options, accessibility and affordability with an emphasis on including youth in programming.

“Civic participation and employment” should reflect on the numbers of persons working past the age of 65 and their reasons for doing so.

The “housing” gathering will likely discuss topics including accessibility, affordability, aging at home, crisis housing for older adults and the length of the waiting list for subsidized housing.

“Community support and health services” appears to be a big concern. People want to discuss dementia living options, caregiver options, and affordable home care.

It was agreed by all that “respect and social inclusion” should focus on encouraging respect for all and to look at a buddy system for isolated seniors. The final gathering, “communication and information” could look at ways to include young people teaching technology to older adults and demonstrate libraries as go-to destinations for all.

The input received from the orientation workshops will guide the planning of the eight gatherings. The core committee thanks every participant for their time and thoughtful responses.

In summing up the work to date, co-chair Lucy Marco had this to say: “It was so rewarding to witness the genuine concern for ensuring that planning takes place for a safe and respectful community for all residents, no matter their age. From the date of our birth until we die, we experience change. Who better to share the voice of experience than those who have lived it.”

For more information please call the Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0777, ext. 438, or visit the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

Watch this page for further details including dates, locations and times for all eight gatherings.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Brant’s age-friendly summit series

First gathering set for May 29 at Brant Sports Complex

Opinion May 01, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Age-Friendly Community Summit has been launched. A press conference on March 27 announced the initiative. Two orientation workshops – on April 17 and April 24 – followed.

Interest from the community is growing quickly as more and more people learn of the summit.

Brant MPP Dave Levac made a commitment during the 2014 provincial election to engage stakeholders and bring focus to the needs and concerns of seniors in our community. To ensure there is a community voice heavily engaged in the process, the Grand River Council on Aging agreed to co-chair the initiative.

A core committee was created to plan and implement the summit. This committee draws its members from the offices of Levac, Brant MP Phil McColeman, the Grand River Council on Aging, City of Brantford, the County of Brant, Six Nations, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and Brantford Native Housing, as well as six retirees. Several key resource members are on hand to provide specific expertise.

Committee members agreed that to create an age-friendly community for a lifetime, the focus of the summit should be age-friendly. Rather than just focusing on the needs of older adults and seniors, the Age-Friendly Community Summit acknowledges the statement that “what works for age five, will work for 105.”

The summit is expected to conclude with a final report listing actions in April 2017. Community meetings that focus on a specific aspect of daily living will take place every other month and be held in the City of Brantford, County of Brant and Six Nations. The first gathering on “outdoor spaces and public buildings” is scheduled for May 29 at the Brant Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

These gatherings are for everyone – older adults, seniors, caregivers, family members, community stakeholders and organizations that work with or for seniors.

The orientation workshops were provided to introduce the summit process, its goals and timelines. Another objective was to inspire and encourage participants to get involved over the long term. People from all walks of life and various backgrounds attended. The results were exciting.

Comments from the evaluations told the tale. Those in attendance are looking forward to their future involvement, agreed the process is very much needed and appreciated the opportunity to give input.

Participants were also called to action.

In order to facilitate planning, the core committee wanted to know which of the eight summit gatherings they would be interested in attending.

Some examples for “outdoor spaces and buildings” were access to trails, sufficient rest areas and neighbourhood green spaces. For “transportation,” people identified the County of Brant and caregiver parking for medical visits as concerns. Examples for “social participation and inclusion” were recreational options, accessibility and affordability with an emphasis on including youth in programming.

“Civic participation and employment” should reflect on the numbers of persons working past the age of 65 and their reasons for doing so.

The “housing” gathering will likely discuss topics including accessibility, affordability, aging at home, crisis housing for older adults and the length of the waiting list for subsidized housing.

“Community support and health services” appears to be a big concern. People want to discuss dementia living options, caregiver options, and affordable home care.

It was agreed by all that “respect and social inclusion” should focus on encouraging respect for all and to look at a buddy system for isolated seniors. The final gathering, “communication and information” could look at ways to include young people teaching technology to older adults and demonstrate libraries as go-to destinations for all.

The input received from the orientation workshops will guide the planning of the eight gatherings. The core committee thanks every participant for their time and thoughtful responses.

In summing up the work to date, co-chair Lucy Marco had this to say: “It was so rewarding to witness the genuine concern for ensuring that planning takes place for a safe and respectful community for all residents, no matter their age. From the date of our birth until we die, we experience change. Who better to share the voice of experience than those who have lived it.”

For more information please call the Grand River Council on Aging at 519-754-0777, ext. 438, or visit the GRCOA website at www.grcoa.ca.

Watch this page for further details including dates, locations and times for all eight gatherings.