FOCUS ON SENIORS: Home sweet home

Opinion Apr 11, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Adults make dozens of decisions on a daily basis – from the simple choices like what to have for breakfast, to the important decisions such as where to live.

The search for housing begins as young adults, usually when first leaving the family home. Moving out as a bid for independence or to attend post-secondary education is something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement. It’s a rite of passage and a sign of maturity when accepting responsibility for that first home.

The price of accommodation factors into the decision making, but at that stage of life people often have parents to fall back on to help with the monthly costs, which might include rent and parking. And with the resilience and optimism of youth, it is easy to overlook any negative aspects, such as a poor view, several flights of stairs or the lack of a backyard.

As time goes by, housing needs and requirements change. When we find that special someone and begin to think about relationships or getting married and starting a family, serious thought must be given to the next home.

What’s the budget? Rent or purchase? Live in the downtown or in the suburbs? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Is a townhouse, semi-detached or single family home desired?

As circumstances change, and incomes improve, many people begin to long for their “dream home.”

Again, the choices seem endless; ranch, bungalow or multi-storey? A fixer-upper or build a new house? Families grow and at each location, more and more possessions are acquired.

Time goes by very quickly. Housing needs change as people age. Decisions might be dictated by physical requirements and impacted by the empty nest.

Suddenly, finding a new place to call home is not as exciting as it once was. The word “downsizing” enters the vocabulary. Questions arise around the disbursement and disposal of precious belongings. Outcomes seem to focus on discarding or letting go of what once was.

The Grand River Council on Aging strives to promote the voice of seniors and is committed to the development of an age-friendly community. Changing attitudes about aging and promoting healthy, active living for all ages are of paramount importance.

Encouraging people to view changing housing needs as “the next exciting phase of life” will take time. The lack of decent and affordable housing options has contributed to a negative viewpoint. The challenge to find the next housing option on the continuum of aging has become a painful reality for many older adults.

Making the decision to move and finding a new home can be incredibly painful for older adults. In many cases, there are no fall-back options, with no family to provide financial support. Many seniors find themselves living on fixed incomes, limiting their housing selections.

During the consultation process for the Master Aging Plan (MAP), seniors spoke from their lived experience about the search for suitable housing for older people. A priority objective identified in this process was “to increase appropriate, accessible and affordable housing for seniors living in the community.”

Suggested strategies included researching innovative housing models in other jurisdictions, identify local zoning and infrastructure barriers to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing for seniors, develop a registry of housing options, communicate information on available housing and retrofit grants, explore ways to increase pet-friendly housing options and explore ways to expand seniors housing options in rural areas.

It is gratifying to review those strategies from eight years ago, to see that many changes are occurring.

The City of Brantford and the County of Brant recently announced their newest joint venture in an affordable-housing development at the John Noble Home. This exciting initiative of 40 age-friendly housing apartments for seniors is scheduled to begin construction in 2016.

Creekside Village is another development on the horizon. To be located on King Street in Burford, it will provide 143 new age-friendly houses for older adults. This low-impact, environmentally friendly development will give seniors a chance to live independent, active lives for as long as possible.

To meet the needs of this community, much work remains.

The next gathering of the Age-Friendly Community Summit, a partnership between GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac, is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 22, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. This half-day consultation will focus on housing. Older adults, seniors, caregivers, community stakeholders, agencies and organizations that are engaged in housing are invited to participate.

Bring your concerns and solutions with you to attend this important consultation about age-friendly housing needs for seniors in our community. Your voice is important and we want to hear from you.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Home sweet home

Next age-friendly summit gathering focuses on housing

Opinion Apr 11, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Adults make dozens of decisions on a daily basis – from the simple choices like what to have for breakfast, to the important decisions such as where to live.

The search for housing begins as young adults, usually when first leaving the family home. Moving out as a bid for independence or to attend post-secondary education is something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement. It’s a rite of passage and a sign of maturity when accepting responsibility for that first home.

The price of accommodation factors into the decision making, but at that stage of life people often have parents to fall back on to help with the monthly costs, which might include rent and parking. And with the resilience and optimism of youth, it is easy to overlook any negative aspects, such as a poor view, several flights of stairs or the lack of a backyard.

As time goes by, housing needs and requirements change. When we find that special someone and begin to think about relationships or getting married and starting a family, serious thought must be given to the next home.

What’s the budget? Rent or purchase? Live in the downtown or in the suburbs? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Is a townhouse, semi-detached or single family home desired?

As circumstances change, and incomes improve, many people begin to long for their “dream home.”

Again, the choices seem endless; ranch, bungalow or multi-storey? A fixer-upper or build a new house? Families grow and at each location, more and more possessions are acquired.

Time goes by very quickly. Housing needs change as people age. Decisions might be dictated by physical requirements and impacted by the empty nest.

Suddenly, finding a new place to call home is not as exciting as it once was. The word “downsizing” enters the vocabulary. Questions arise around the disbursement and disposal of precious belongings. Outcomes seem to focus on discarding or letting go of what once was.

The Grand River Council on Aging strives to promote the voice of seniors and is committed to the development of an age-friendly community. Changing attitudes about aging and promoting healthy, active living for all ages are of paramount importance.

Encouraging people to view changing housing needs as “the next exciting phase of life” will take time. The lack of decent and affordable housing options has contributed to a negative viewpoint. The challenge to find the next housing option on the continuum of aging has become a painful reality for many older adults.

Making the decision to move and finding a new home can be incredibly painful for older adults. In many cases, there are no fall-back options, with no family to provide financial support. Many seniors find themselves living on fixed incomes, limiting their housing selections.

During the consultation process for the Master Aging Plan (MAP), seniors spoke from their lived experience about the search for suitable housing for older people. A priority objective identified in this process was “to increase appropriate, accessible and affordable housing for seniors living in the community.”

Suggested strategies included researching innovative housing models in other jurisdictions, identify local zoning and infrastructure barriers to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing for seniors, develop a registry of housing options, communicate information on available housing and retrofit grants, explore ways to increase pet-friendly housing options and explore ways to expand seniors housing options in rural areas.

It is gratifying to review those strategies from eight years ago, to see that many changes are occurring.

The City of Brantford and the County of Brant recently announced their newest joint venture in an affordable-housing development at the John Noble Home. This exciting initiative of 40 age-friendly housing apartments for seniors is scheduled to begin construction in 2016.

Creekside Village is another development on the horizon. To be located on King Street in Burford, it will provide 143 new age-friendly houses for older adults. This low-impact, environmentally friendly development will give seniors a chance to live independent, active lives for as long as possible.

To meet the needs of this community, much work remains.

The next gathering of the Age-Friendly Community Summit, a partnership between GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac, is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 22, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. This half-day consultation will focus on housing. Older adults, seniors, caregivers, community stakeholders, agencies and organizations that are engaged in housing are invited to participate.

Bring your concerns and solutions with you to attend this important consultation about age-friendly housing needs for seniors in our community. Your voice is important and we want to hear from you.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: Home sweet home

Next age-friendly summit gathering focuses on housing

Opinion Apr 11, 2016 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

Adults make dozens of decisions on a daily basis – from the simple choices like what to have for breakfast, to the important decisions such as where to live.

The search for housing begins as young adults, usually when first leaving the family home. Moving out as a bid for independence or to attend post-secondary education is something to look forward to with anticipation and excitement. It’s a rite of passage and a sign of maturity when accepting responsibility for that first home.

The price of accommodation factors into the decision making, but at that stage of life people often have parents to fall back on to help with the monthly costs, which might include rent and parking. And with the resilience and optimism of youth, it is easy to overlook any negative aspects, such as a poor view, several flights of stairs or the lack of a backyard.

As time goes by, housing needs and requirements change. When we find that special someone and begin to think about relationships or getting married and starting a family, serious thought must be given to the next home.

What’s the budget? Rent or purchase? Live in the downtown or in the suburbs? How many bedrooms and bathrooms? Is a townhouse, semi-detached or single family home desired?

As circumstances change, and incomes improve, many people begin to long for their “dream home.”

Again, the choices seem endless; ranch, bungalow or multi-storey? A fixer-upper or build a new house? Families grow and at each location, more and more possessions are acquired.

Time goes by very quickly. Housing needs change as people age. Decisions might be dictated by physical requirements and impacted by the empty nest.

Suddenly, finding a new place to call home is not as exciting as it once was. The word “downsizing” enters the vocabulary. Questions arise around the disbursement and disposal of precious belongings. Outcomes seem to focus on discarding or letting go of what once was.

The Grand River Council on Aging strives to promote the voice of seniors and is committed to the development of an age-friendly community. Changing attitudes about aging and promoting healthy, active living for all ages are of paramount importance.

Encouraging people to view changing housing needs as “the next exciting phase of life” will take time. The lack of decent and affordable housing options has contributed to a negative viewpoint. The challenge to find the next housing option on the continuum of aging has become a painful reality for many older adults.

Making the decision to move and finding a new home can be incredibly painful for older adults. In many cases, there are no fall-back options, with no family to provide financial support. Many seniors find themselves living on fixed incomes, limiting their housing selections.

During the consultation process for the Master Aging Plan (MAP), seniors spoke from their lived experience about the search for suitable housing for older people. A priority objective identified in this process was “to increase appropriate, accessible and affordable housing for seniors living in the community.”

Suggested strategies included researching innovative housing models in other jurisdictions, identify local zoning and infrastructure barriers to affordable, accessible and appropriate housing for seniors, develop a registry of housing options, communicate information on available housing and retrofit grants, explore ways to increase pet-friendly housing options and explore ways to expand seniors housing options in rural areas.

It is gratifying to review those strategies from eight years ago, to see that many changes are occurring.

The City of Brantford and the County of Brant recently announced their newest joint venture in an affordable-housing development at the John Noble Home. This exciting initiative of 40 age-friendly housing apartments for seniors is scheduled to begin construction in 2016.

Creekside Village is another development on the horizon. To be located on King Street in Burford, it will provide 143 new age-friendly houses for older adults. This low-impact, environmentally friendly development will give seniors a chance to live independent, active lives for as long as possible.

To meet the needs of this community, much work remains.

The next gathering of the Age-Friendly Community Summit, a partnership between GRCOA and Brant MPP Dave Levac, is scheduled to take place on Friday, April 22, at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. This half-day consultation will focus on housing. Older adults, seniors, caregivers, community stakeholders, agencies and organizations that are engaged in housing are invited to participate.

Bring your concerns and solutions with you to attend this important consultation about age-friendly housing needs for seniors in our community. Your voice is important and we want to hear from you.