FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting from A to B

Opinion Aug 20, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

When the Master Aging Plan (MAP) for Brantford and Brant was published in 2008, transportation was listed among the top three areas of concern for older adults.

“Go-Go” seniors – who are seniors that are out and about regularly in the community – were concerned about driver supports, they wanted a pedestrian-friendly environment, cited the need for inter-county transportation and mentioned the need for planning for life transitions.

For “Slow-Go” seniors who may have some mobility issues, the concerns were home delivery of goods, special transit for those with accessibility issues – not to mention the accessibility once they reached their destination – and, again, the need for inter-county transportation.

“No-Go” seniors had different concerns as they rely on special transit with attendant care to get around. But they are also concerned about how their aging friends and family can visit them.

How do you get around Brantford and the County of Brant?

 You might not think about it too much. Owning a car, you rely on it to take you to your destination. With regular care and maintenance, your vehicle should start when you turn the key in the ignition and away you go.

But what does transportation look like for those who don’t have a car?

If you live on a bus route, you could depend on public transit to transport you from one place to another. If you have a relative, kind friend or generous neighbour, you might count on them to take you around. If affordable, you might use a taxi service.  

Transportation has been the topic of discussion recently in our community. Operation Lift held a community meeting on July 14. MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging held its gathering on transportation on July 17.

Other smaller groups have met to discuss this issue too. Why?

The sad truth is that transportation challenges have been with us for many years. With the growth of our communities, the distance between locations has increased and walking is not often possible.

It’s good to see that individuals, caregivers, stakeholders, community organizations and municipalities have recognized the situation and are committed to discussing creative, ‘doable’ solutions. Coming together at these public meetings is important.

Operation Lift is committed to the accessible needs of persons with disabilities. During their community meeting, they announced a new direction beginning with the “Transportation Assistance Fund.”

This fund was established by the board of directors to assist persons with disabilities who require accessible transportation and cannot find other available service to meet their particular needs. If you or someone you know have need of this service, you can contact Operation Lift at 519-756-2170 or by email at info@operationlift.com.

As Operation Lift moves forward they are looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. They would also be interested in forming community partnerships and committees to further their mission. Board chair Linda Hunt would love to hear from anyone who has an interest.

It is important to note that the Dave Levac-GRCOA age-friendly gathering on transportation was designed as a brainstorming session intended to capture ideas “outside the box.” There was no attempt to identify impact or cost implications.

The participants were advised that the gathering would provide an opportunity for them to contribute positive input – either because something is working well or suggestions for enhancing services.  Participants were asked to identify the reason for their attendance. Of interest is that many came to get information but ended up contributing their input to the discussions.

Of the 77 people in attendance, 52 were retired. It was great to hear about transportation from their perspective.

Issues and opportunities raised at the gathering included the public transit system, Brantford Lift, other transit services, parking, city infrastructure, transit services to get people to Brantford from the county, county infrastructure, driver’s licences, as well as scooters and personal mobility devices.   

You may be familiar with the expression “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s clear that while some of the issues identified in the MAP have been addressed, others have not and new challenges have been raised.

Things do change as we age from five to 105. An age-friendly community recognizes the voices of experience in planning services for all residents.

The many community participants are to be commended for their contributions to the discussions and their commitment to our communities.

Lend your voice to the discussions. If you have an issue regarding transportation, your input is important. Please call the Grand River Council on Aging to speak to a COMPASS coach to raise your concerns or to register for a future gathering at 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting from A to B

Transportation a major area of concern in Brantford-Brant

Opinion Aug 20, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

When the Master Aging Plan (MAP) for Brantford and Brant was published in 2008, transportation was listed among the top three areas of concern for older adults.

“Go-Go” seniors – who are seniors that are out and about regularly in the community – were concerned about driver supports, they wanted a pedestrian-friendly environment, cited the need for inter-county transportation and mentioned the need for planning for life transitions.

For “Slow-Go” seniors who may have some mobility issues, the concerns were home delivery of goods, special transit for those with accessibility issues – not to mention the accessibility once they reached their destination – and, again, the need for inter-county transportation.

“No-Go” seniors had different concerns as they rely on special transit with attendant care to get around. But they are also concerned about how their aging friends and family can visit them.

How do you get around Brantford and the County of Brant?

 You might not think about it too much. Owning a car, you rely on it to take you to your destination. With regular care and maintenance, your vehicle should start when you turn the key in the ignition and away you go.

But what does transportation look like for those who don’t have a car?

If you live on a bus route, you could depend on public transit to transport you from one place to another. If you have a relative, kind friend or generous neighbour, you might count on them to take you around. If affordable, you might use a taxi service.  

Transportation has been the topic of discussion recently in our community. Operation Lift held a community meeting on July 14. MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging held its gathering on transportation on July 17.

Other smaller groups have met to discuss this issue too. Why?

The sad truth is that transportation challenges have been with us for many years. With the growth of our communities, the distance between locations has increased and walking is not often possible.

It’s good to see that individuals, caregivers, stakeholders, community organizations and municipalities have recognized the situation and are committed to discussing creative, ‘doable’ solutions. Coming together at these public meetings is important.

Operation Lift is committed to the accessible needs of persons with disabilities. During their community meeting, they announced a new direction beginning with the “Transportation Assistance Fund.”

This fund was established by the board of directors to assist persons with disabilities who require accessible transportation and cannot find other available service to meet their particular needs. If you or someone you know have need of this service, you can contact Operation Lift at 519-756-2170 or by email at info@operationlift.com.

As Operation Lift moves forward they are looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. They would also be interested in forming community partnerships and committees to further their mission. Board chair Linda Hunt would love to hear from anyone who has an interest.

It is important to note that the Dave Levac-GRCOA age-friendly gathering on transportation was designed as a brainstorming session intended to capture ideas “outside the box.” There was no attempt to identify impact or cost implications.

The participants were advised that the gathering would provide an opportunity for them to contribute positive input – either because something is working well or suggestions for enhancing services.  Participants were asked to identify the reason for their attendance. Of interest is that many came to get information but ended up contributing their input to the discussions.

Of the 77 people in attendance, 52 were retired. It was great to hear about transportation from their perspective.

Issues and opportunities raised at the gathering included the public transit system, Brantford Lift, other transit services, parking, city infrastructure, transit services to get people to Brantford from the county, county infrastructure, driver’s licences, as well as scooters and personal mobility devices.   

You may be familiar with the expression “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s clear that while some of the issues identified in the MAP have been addressed, others have not and new challenges have been raised.

Things do change as we age from five to 105. An age-friendly community recognizes the voices of experience in planning services for all residents.

The many community participants are to be commended for their contributions to the discussions and their commitment to our communities.

Lend your voice to the discussions. If you have an issue regarding transportation, your input is important. Please call the Grand River Council on Aging to speak to a COMPASS coach to raise your concerns or to register for a future gathering at 519-754-0777, ext. 439.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Getting from A to B

Transportation a major area of concern in Brantford-Brant

Opinion Aug 20, 2015 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

When the Master Aging Plan (MAP) for Brantford and Brant was published in 2008, transportation was listed among the top three areas of concern for older adults.

“Go-Go” seniors – who are seniors that are out and about regularly in the community – were concerned about driver supports, they wanted a pedestrian-friendly environment, cited the need for inter-county transportation and mentioned the need for planning for life transitions.

For “Slow-Go” seniors who may have some mobility issues, the concerns were home delivery of goods, special transit for those with accessibility issues – not to mention the accessibility once they reached their destination – and, again, the need for inter-county transportation.

“No-Go” seniors had different concerns as they rely on special transit with attendant care to get around. But they are also concerned about how their aging friends and family can visit them.

How do you get around Brantford and the County of Brant?

 You might not think about it too much. Owning a car, you rely on it to take you to your destination. With regular care and maintenance, your vehicle should start when you turn the key in the ignition and away you go.

But what does transportation look like for those who don’t have a car?

If you live on a bus route, you could depend on public transit to transport you from one place to another. If you have a relative, kind friend or generous neighbour, you might count on them to take you around. If affordable, you might use a taxi service.  

Transportation has been the topic of discussion recently in our community. Operation Lift held a community meeting on July 14. MPP Dave Levac and the Grand River Council on Aging held its gathering on transportation on July 17.

Other smaller groups have met to discuss this issue too. Why?

The sad truth is that transportation challenges have been with us for many years. With the growth of our communities, the distance between locations has increased and walking is not often possible.

It’s good to see that individuals, caregivers, stakeholders, community organizations and municipalities have recognized the situation and are committed to discussing creative, ‘doable’ solutions. Coming together at these public meetings is important.

Operation Lift is committed to the accessible needs of persons with disabilities. During their community meeting, they announced a new direction beginning with the “Transportation Assistance Fund.”

This fund was established by the board of directors to assist persons with disabilities who require accessible transportation and cannot find other available service to meet their particular needs. If you or someone you know have need of this service, you can contact Operation Lift at 519-756-2170 or by email at info@operationlift.com.

As Operation Lift moves forward they are looking for volunteers to serve on the board of directors. They would also be interested in forming community partnerships and committees to further their mission. Board chair Linda Hunt would love to hear from anyone who has an interest.

It is important to note that the Dave Levac-GRCOA age-friendly gathering on transportation was designed as a brainstorming session intended to capture ideas “outside the box.” There was no attempt to identify impact or cost implications.

The participants were advised that the gathering would provide an opportunity for them to contribute positive input – either because something is working well or suggestions for enhancing services.  Participants were asked to identify the reason for their attendance. Of interest is that many came to get information but ended up contributing their input to the discussions.

Of the 77 people in attendance, 52 were retired. It was great to hear about transportation from their perspective.

Issues and opportunities raised at the gathering included the public transit system, Brantford Lift, other transit services, parking, city infrastructure, transit services to get people to Brantford from the county, county infrastructure, driver’s licences, as well as scooters and personal mobility devices.   

You may be familiar with the expression “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s clear that while some of the issues identified in the MAP have been addressed, others have not and new challenges have been raised.

Things do change as we age from five to 105. An age-friendly community recognizes the voices of experience in planning services for all residents.

The many community participants are to be commended for their contributions to the discussions and their commitment to our communities.

Lend your voice to the discussions. If you have an issue regarding transportation, your input is important. Please call the Grand River Council on Aging to speak to a COMPASS coach to raise your concerns or to register for a future gathering at 519-754-0777, ext. 439.