FOCUS ON SENIORS: The ongoing work of the council on aging

Opinion Mar 17, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is a nonprofit organization conducting research about aging and sharing it the within the community. The council recognizes its role is sometimes difficult to comprehend. In fact, GRCOA members are often asked, “But what is it you do exactly?"

Lucy Marco and Jean Kincade spent the early years with the GRCOA making presentations and talking about the changing demographics for older adults. Finally, after several years of the "Lucy and Jean Show," the community began to understand the important messages they were promoting.

Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why it takes so long for the point to sink in. When the city’s 2008 Master Aging Plan was published, the council was saying, “In the year 2030, people over 55 years of age, will represent 35.2 per cent of the total population for the City of Brantford and the County of Brant. That forecast was a fuzzy number far off in the distant future. Now it’s only 13 years away, and there’s a growing sense of urgency about the demographics and about the reality they represent."

Think about it for a moment. If one third of our population will be older adults and seniors, what programs or services will they need?  

As someone once said, “Failure to plan is a plan to fail." We must plan for this eventuality and we must do it now. And that’s where the GRCOA comes in.

With a mission is to promote the voices of seniors, the COMPASS pilot project was one way in which to discover what seniors were saying. The project was about consulting with seniors — face to face — to listen to them. With their input, GRCOA was able to report what the needs are to the community and other organizations, agencies and the municipalities.

The council then entered into a partnership with MPP Dave Levac to conduct eight gatherings in order to obtain input from groups relative to what will be needed. Preliminary reports on each of these gatherings can be viewed at www.grcoa.ca. The final report is currently in the process of being prepared.

GRCOA continues with its information gathering by going to where seniors are gathering. Examples are participation in the annual CARP exhibition at the civic centre, presentations to clubs such as Probus, Rotary, Kiwanis, Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, the local seniors club presidents council, and to several retirement homes. The council has been well received and information is being gathered directly from seniors who are willing to “tell us their story."

An age-friendly community has been the focus since the Master Aging Plan and its 99 recommendations were published. GRCOA further defined its work with the adoption of the following statement:

“The Grand River Council on Aging will provide a voice for seniors that will have influence and impact on planning for an age-friendly community."

A simple example of an age-friendly consideration is accessibility to a building. Automated doors ease the way for a new mom with a stroller as much as for a senior in a wheelchair.

GRCOA has always believed in effective partnerships that benefit and support the partners. The partnership with the Brant News is an example. Over and over, the council has heard from seniors that they read about the GROCA in the Brant News. Working with this community paper has provided a platform upon which to further spread the “age-friendly” message. It’s impossible to measure the impact, but this partnership has generated numerous benefits to the partners and to seniors. The GRCOA is grateful to Laurie Beth Russell and Sean Allen at the Brant News for the ongoing partnership, opportunity and assistance they have provided.

Past successful endeavours will also continue in 2017. GRCOA will participate in the annual CARP Fair in May and will host its fifth annual Workshop on a Bus in celebration of National Seniors Day on Oct. 1. The final report for the Age-Friendly Community Summit, created by seniors for seniors, will be released in April 2017.

New for this year is the decision to host two fundraising events. On April 19, the Sanderson Centre will come alive to the big band sounds of the George Rose Band and rock to the tunes of the Kennie Marco Band. Other Brantford celebrities include Frank and Nancy DiFelice, Brian and Kelly Sloat, Shirley Hutty, and Sonny Sinclair. Tickets are $30 and are available at the Sanderson Centre box office or online.

The second fundraising event will be the introduction of Taco Fest, a fun event for all ages which will take place in the fall.

Listening is what the Grand River Council on Aging does best. If you would like to share your story, please call the office at 519-754-0777, ext. 438. Remember, senior voices can make a difference in assisting in planning for the future.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: The ongoing work of the council on aging

Opinion Mar 17, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is a nonprofit organization conducting research about aging and sharing it the within the community. The council recognizes its role is sometimes difficult to comprehend. In fact, GRCOA members are often asked, “But what is it you do exactly?"

Lucy Marco and Jean Kincade spent the early years with the GRCOA making presentations and talking about the changing demographics for older adults. Finally, after several years of the "Lucy and Jean Show," the community began to understand the important messages they were promoting.

Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why it takes so long for the point to sink in. When the city’s 2008 Master Aging Plan was published, the council was saying, “In the year 2030, people over 55 years of age, will represent 35.2 per cent of the total population for the City of Brantford and the County of Brant. That forecast was a fuzzy number far off in the distant future. Now it’s only 13 years away, and there’s a growing sense of urgency about the demographics and about the reality they represent."

Think about it for a moment. If one third of our population will be older adults and seniors, what programs or services will they need?  

As someone once said, “Failure to plan is a plan to fail." We must plan for this eventuality and we must do it now. And that’s where the GRCOA comes in.

With a mission is to promote the voices of seniors, the COMPASS pilot project was one way in which to discover what seniors were saying. The project was about consulting with seniors — face to face — to listen to them. With their input, GRCOA was able to report what the needs are to the community and other organizations, agencies and the municipalities.

The council then entered into a partnership with MPP Dave Levac to conduct eight gatherings in order to obtain input from groups relative to what will be needed. Preliminary reports on each of these gatherings can be viewed at www.grcoa.ca. The final report is currently in the process of being prepared.

GRCOA continues with its information gathering by going to where seniors are gathering. Examples are participation in the annual CARP exhibition at the civic centre, presentations to clubs such as Probus, Rotary, Kiwanis, Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, the local seniors club presidents council, and to several retirement homes. The council has been well received and information is being gathered directly from seniors who are willing to “tell us their story."

An age-friendly community has been the focus since the Master Aging Plan and its 99 recommendations were published. GRCOA further defined its work with the adoption of the following statement:

“The Grand River Council on Aging will provide a voice for seniors that will have influence and impact on planning for an age-friendly community."

A simple example of an age-friendly consideration is accessibility to a building. Automated doors ease the way for a new mom with a stroller as much as for a senior in a wheelchair.

GRCOA has always believed in effective partnerships that benefit and support the partners. The partnership with the Brant News is an example. Over and over, the council has heard from seniors that they read about the GROCA in the Brant News. Working with this community paper has provided a platform upon which to further spread the “age-friendly” message. It’s impossible to measure the impact, but this partnership has generated numerous benefits to the partners and to seniors. The GRCOA is grateful to Laurie Beth Russell and Sean Allen at the Brant News for the ongoing partnership, opportunity and assistance they have provided.

Past successful endeavours will also continue in 2017. GRCOA will participate in the annual CARP Fair in May and will host its fifth annual Workshop on a Bus in celebration of National Seniors Day on Oct. 1. The final report for the Age-Friendly Community Summit, created by seniors for seniors, will be released in April 2017.

New for this year is the decision to host two fundraising events. On April 19, the Sanderson Centre will come alive to the big band sounds of the George Rose Band and rock to the tunes of the Kennie Marco Band. Other Brantford celebrities include Frank and Nancy DiFelice, Brian and Kelly Sloat, Shirley Hutty, and Sonny Sinclair. Tickets are $30 and are available at the Sanderson Centre box office or online.

The second fundraising event will be the introduction of Taco Fest, a fun event for all ages which will take place in the fall.

Listening is what the Grand River Council on Aging does best. If you would like to share your story, please call the office at 519-754-0777, ext. 438. Remember, senior voices can make a difference in assisting in planning for the future.

FOCUS ON SENIORS: The ongoing work of the council on aging

Opinion Mar 17, 2017 by Kathryn Poirier Brant News

The Grand River Council on Aging (GRCOA) is a nonprofit organization conducting research about aging and sharing it the within the community. The council recognizes its role is sometimes difficult to comprehend. In fact, GRCOA members are often asked, “But what is it you do exactly?"

Lucy Marco and Jean Kincade spent the early years with the GRCOA making presentations and talking about the changing demographics for older adults. Finally, after several years of the "Lucy and Jean Show," the community began to understand the important messages they were promoting.

Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to why it takes so long for the point to sink in. When the city’s 2008 Master Aging Plan was published, the council was saying, “In the year 2030, people over 55 years of age, will represent 35.2 per cent of the total population for the City of Brantford and the County of Brant. That forecast was a fuzzy number far off in the distant future. Now it’s only 13 years away, and there’s a growing sense of urgency about the demographics and about the reality they represent."

Think about it for a moment. If one third of our population will be older adults and seniors, what programs or services will they need?  

As someone once said, “Failure to plan is a plan to fail." We must plan for this eventuality and we must do it now. And that’s where the GRCOA comes in.

With a mission is to promote the voices of seniors, the COMPASS pilot project was one way in which to discover what seniors were saying. The project was about consulting with seniors — face to face — to listen to them. With their input, GRCOA was able to report what the needs are to the community and other organizations, agencies and the municipalities.

The council then entered into a partnership with MPP Dave Levac to conduct eight gatherings in order to obtain input from groups relative to what will be needed. Preliminary reports on each of these gatherings can be viewed at www.grcoa.ca. The final report is currently in the process of being prepared.

GRCOA continues with its information gathering by going to where seniors are gathering. Examples are participation in the annual CARP exhibition at the civic centre, presentations to clubs such as Probus, Rotary, Kiwanis, Beckett Adult Leisure Centre, the local seniors club presidents council, and to several retirement homes. The council has been well received and information is being gathered directly from seniors who are willing to “tell us their story."

An age-friendly community has been the focus since the Master Aging Plan and its 99 recommendations were published. GRCOA further defined its work with the adoption of the following statement:

“The Grand River Council on Aging will provide a voice for seniors that will have influence and impact on planning for an age-friendly community."

A simple example of an age-friendly consideration is accessibility to a building. Automated doors ease the way for a new mom with a stroller as much as for a senior in a wheelchair.

GRCOA has always believed in effective partnerships that benefit and support the partners. The partnership with the Brant News is an example. Over and over, the council has heard from seniors that they read about the GROCA in the Brant News. Working with this community paper has provided a platform upon which to further spread the “age-friendly” message. It’s impossible to measure the impact, but this partnership has generated numerous benefits to the partners and to seniors. The GRCOA is grateful to Laurie Beth Russell and Sean Allen at the Brant News for the ongoing partnership, opportunity and assistance they have provided.

Past successful endeavours will also continue in 2017. GRCOA will participate in the annual CARP Fair in May and will host its fifth annual Workshop on a Bus in celebration of National Seniors Day on Oct. 1. The final report for the Age-Friendly Community Summit, created by seniors for seniors, will be released in April 2017.

New for this year is the decision to host two fundraising events. On April 19, the Sanderson Centre will come alive to the big band sounds of the George Rose Band and rock to the tunes of the Kennie Marco Band. Other Brantford celebrities include Frank and Nancy DiFelice, Brian and Kelly Sloat, Shirley Hutty, and Sonny Sinclair. Tickets are $30 and are available at the Sanderson Centre box office or online.

The second fundraising event will be the introduction of Taco Fest, a fun event for all ages which will take place in the fall.

Listening is what the Grand River Council on Aging does best. If you would like to share your story, please call the office at 519-754-0777, ext. 438. Remember, senior voices can make a difference in assisting in planning for the future.