Old Ottawa South Community Association

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Seniors Watch: Hopeful and Worrisome Developments

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“Life is like riding a bicycle: To keep your balance, you must keep moving” — Albert Einstein

This brilliant man’s observation speaks to my Dutch senior's heart. Indeed, hopefulness keeps us moving, but worrisome news should wake us up and take action!

Yes, it is worrisome that we have a new government, that promised to cut back $22 billion over three years...

The Health Coalition quotes from the Provincial Auditor report, that the Harris Government spent $ 3.9 billion to save $ 800 million in hospital spending. Where will spending be cut now? Downsizing the workforce, amalgamations, privatization, and cuts in services are obvious targets.

But Doug Ford promised to end “hallway medicine” and not to privatize hospitals. But could the Fords record of trying to privatize Long Term Care be an indication of things to come?

And yet Doug Ford committed to no cuts, no layoffs, no privatization and ensured minimum care standards in Long Term Care!  We have to make sure we hold Ford’s Government accountable to these basic, but necessary promises.

And in this spirit of hopefulness, I was pleased to be informed that the Champlain LHIN includes this Senior Watch column in their news distribution! Does this mean the LHIN wants to know about our concerns?

Another sign of hopefulness is the launch of the website ImpactHours.org. This platform facilitates connections between 55+ volunteers and non-profits. You can subscribe to the newsletter and e-mail alerts to find the right match for you. A note of warning: if you require a “Police Check”, be prepared for a long wait and to visit an out of the way location in the West End. Let’s hope this discouraging process will be remedied....

At our Senior Watch Committee meeting in June 2018, three members decided to meet over the summer to problem solve as to what can be done in Old Ottawa South to improve connections between neighbours in order to diminish personal isolation. Seniors can become socially isolated when health and mobility decline and as a result, contact with the neighbourhood becomes rare. Treacherous winter walkability exacerbates this isolation. 

At the June 8, 2018 “Age Well Celebration” in the Nepean Sportplex, I spoke briefly with Councillor Egli about this winter walkability. As chair of the Transportation Committee and in charge of pedestrian networks, Mr. Egli is the right person to ask the question as to why Sunnyside’s sidewalks were not walkable in wintertime, whereas those of Carleton University were? Mr. Egli responded that Carleton’s area was smaller and therefore Carleton University can maintain walkability in the wintertime. Mr. Egli’s response puzzles me. Are we expected to give up walking to our bus stops in wintertime?  Surely services can be made available to ensure all the neighbourhood is safe for walking and ongoing connections to our neighbourhood?

A hopeful sign for seniors in our ward is the interest local municipal councillor candidate Christine McAllister displayed at a “Senior Round Table” in the Glebe to discover common concerns for seniors. A recurring theme became innovative forms of independent living when requiring additional support. Pat Steenberg of Abbotsford House is busy organizing a Housing Forum, October 1, 2018. At the forum, presenters will explain what choices are presently available.

Please add your voice, opinion, and ideas to our growing movement to make Old Ottawa South ever more “Age Friendly” and write to acuylits [AT] magma [DOT] ca. An Age Friendly Community promotes your health, safety and active participation!

Last modified on Thursday, 01 November 2018 08:16

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