SWOOS meets iGEN: June 1st – Come Out And Vote!
Senior Watch Old Ottawa South celebrates its first year with an invite to young and old to vote for the best location for a city bench!
Where: Cast your votes at The Firehall, 260 Sunnyside Avenue
When: Saturday, June 1, 2019, from 9:30am to 11:00am.
This past year, May 2018-2019, the SWOOS team searched what we, as a watchdog for seniors in Old Ottawa South, could or should actually do.
Our monthly columns in the OSCAR provided information about winter walkability, health, and housing. And in all these articles was the recurring theme of social connections.
For example, the Snow Moles audits needed to be done as a group in order to get the attention of the press, the staff at City Hall, and local politicians. This was a somewhat challenging, but also a fun activity and as a result of ours’ and other Snow Mole group audits in the City, the current winter QMS (Quality Maintenance Standards) on our sidewalks will be updated!
Also, when housing needs in our sunset years were addressed, SWOOS OSCAR column November 2018, we realised that adjustments are required from time to time. Formal and informal social connections in and around our homes can create a lifesaving safety network when emergencies occur. Formal arrangements are ones such as a medical alert system we pay for, daily telephone calls from a volunteer at Abbotsford House, or we can make our own informal arrangements with friends or relatives. And when health issues do arise, e.g. after discharge from day surgery or during cancer treatment, these support networks become essential.
But how important is socialising in various classes and clubs, with friends, family or even in casual chats? Over 1.5 million Canadian seniors report feeling lonely… “Social researchers call it a hidden epidemic that can take its toll on seniors. Loneliness has been associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression and anxiety”.*
One of the issues reported on by Catherine Read in the April SWOOS OSCAR column are benches along Bank Street or rather, the lack thereof. She reports that benches are important for young and old. Benches allow us, young and old, to walk further, have friendly chats and socialize.
And here SWOOS meets iGen.
Ottawa Proclaims June 1st “Intergenerational Day”
Intergenerational Day celebrates the value of connections between generations through activities. And so, on June 1st at 9.30am, at the Firehall, SWOOS will launch the voting of Your choice location for a City bench!
The City stipulates that a location needs to be frequented by seniors, accessible, near amenities and have shade, at least part of the day. Voting, by young and old, will continue between June 1 to June 10 at the front desk of the Firehall.
Your Bench – Your Location
Anna Cuylits is a longtime resident of OOS, a member of SWOOS, and an OSCA Board member.
* 2018 Council on Aging publication “Keeping Ottawa Seniors Connected”