seniors

ACS teams with town for seniors roundtable

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A group of nearly a dozen service providers for seniors gathered at the Libro Centre last Wednesday morning to explain what they do.

Representatives from church groups, service clubs, senior-centric businesses and medical professionals gathered for the roundtable as part of a process to start networking and to have the town and Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) get a handle on what is out there.

“We know that in the future that the number of seniors will grow,” said ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo. “We have to start planning now.”

Rick Daly, the town’s manager of recreation services, said the senior population is rapidly growing and that as of 2016, 16.4 per cent of Ontario’s population is 65-and-over. In Amherstburg, 18.1 per cent of the population is in that age group.

“Seniors now are more active than ever,” he said. “The question we want to answer is how do we support our senior population?”

DiBartolomeo said seniors want to be active and they were also trying to find out what barriers may exist that prevent some seniors from being active. She said they are trying to network with others, compile a database of senior services and continue to work together.

“Amherstburg is a jewel,” she said, though many groups continue to “work in silos.”

Service providers outlined concerns about transportation, educating people about what is out there, and accessible housing. There are those seniors who don’t want to be a burden and others that simply don’t know what is out there, it was explained.

ACS and the town held a roundtable with senior service providers. ACS community awareness/fundraising co-ordinator Austin Tyrrell, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo and town manager of recreation services Rick Daly gather input from Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg.

Daly said grant opportunities are being explored and that the town is pursuing a master aging plan. There is hope of possibly developing the former St. Bernard School into a “hub” for seniors activities.

“There are a lot of opportunities coming Amherstburg’s way,” said Daly. “It’s an exciting time to be a senior because of the opportunities.”

In the short-term, additional racks could be put up around the Libro Centre to house pamphlets with seniors activities.

Service providers and groups that were not able to attend last Wednesday morning’s roundtable can stop by Amherstburg Community Services’ office at 179 Victoria St. S. and let them know what they offer and what they do for seniors.

For more information on Amherstburg Community Services, call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com. DiBartolomeo can be contacted directly at execdirector@amherstburg-cs.com.

 

Stuff-a-Stocking for Seniors makes return with help from Caesars Windsor

 

 

Special to the RTT

 

After returning from a brief trip out east last December, Carol, 80, came home to find a bright red Christmas stocking filled with gifts at her front door.

This year, thanks to a donation of $1,500 from Caesars Windsor as well as continued support from Amherstburg and LaSalle residents, Carol will be one of over 300 seniors to receive a gift from the Stuff-a-Stocking for Seniors program.

The Stuff-a-Stocking for Seniors program, which is organized by Amherstburg Community Services (ACS), collects small gifts from the community and puts them into Christmas stockings that are then delivered to seniors in Amherstburg and LaSalle. According to ACS executive director, Kathy DiBartolomeo, the aim of this program is to reduce the feelings of loneliness and isolation faced by seniors.

Amherstburg Community Services is currently accepting donations to help “Stuff-A-Stocking for Seniors” this holiday season. The River Town Times staff stuffed stockings and mugs last week to bring to ACS for the event. Donations will be accepted until Nov. 29 at their 179 Victoria St. location between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Fridays. They are looking for toiletries, winter wear, homemade cards, stockings and monetary donations.

“Senior loneliness and isolation is a serious problem that can be highlighted during the holidays,” DiBartolomeo said.

DiBartolomeo continued by saying that the contribution from Caesars Windsor, which will also be sending staff to help pack and sort the stockings, makes a huge difference.

“I cannot tell you just how much we appreciate their contribution – this will allow us to help more seniors than ever before,” she said.

After her experience last year, Carol says that the impact of this program is certainly felt by individuals like her.

“It actually made me cry because I had lost my husband only months before that, so the holidays were a difficult time for me,” Carol explained. “It was truly wonderful to open that up and see all the love that was packed inside. I’ll never forget it, and I made sure that every item in that stocking went to good use.”

ACS will be collecting donations for the program until Nov. 29. Small gifts such as gloves, socks, scarves, toiletries, small treats and candies, Christmas stockings, and homemade holiday cards, as well as monetary donations are needed and can be dropped off at ACS’ office at 179 Victoria St S in Amherstburg.

Drop-off boxes will also be set up at the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle and the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amherstburg. Seniors can be signed up by themselves or by others by calling ACS at 519-736-5471.

Town seeing grant funding for new Master Aging Plan

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Town council is pursuing provincial funding to help support a plan geared towards senior citizens.

Council authorized and supported administration to submit a grant application for funding under the Seniors Community Grant Program to the Ministry of Seniors Affairs for the preparation of a Master Aging Plan and implementation program. Council also agreed to support the required in-kind contribution to fund the preparation of the Master Aging Plan and implementation programs through the 2018 budget sessions.

Councillor Diane Pouget introduced the motion, and pointed out the town’s growing senior population.

“According to Statistics Canada’s 2016 data for the town, adults 55-and-over represent 34 per cent of the town’s population,” said Pouget. “In fact, adults between the ages of 55-64 represent 16 per cent of the town’s population alone. Due to the current and increasing number of seniors in our community, the town has proposed the development of a Master Aging Plan to be initiated in 2018.”

Pouget pointed out that the town has embarked on initiatives in the past year that include the community strategic plan. She said the town is currently undertaking studies towards enhancing the settlement areas and ensuring quality of life for Amherstburg residents.

The Master Aging Plan will assist the town in identifying what types of services and programs should be offered locally. That includes what seniors need and could also include what type of infrastructure could be necessary.

“It is something that is really required,” Pouget said of the plan. “It is very important.”

Victoria St. Manor holding open house this Friday

 

By RTT Staff

The long-awaited reopening of Victoria St. Manor appears to be getting closer.

The senior citizens residence will be holding an open house this Friday from 2-7 p.m. and is now ready to accept residents. Original plans called for the home to open in March but it now looks as if the home is ready for occupancy.

“It’s an open house to get everyone to come in, see the manor and see what has been done,” said Nicole Courtney, business and client developer.

Courtney said “finishing touches” are now being made. The 14-room home will be able to accept patients as of Friday, Courtney pledged.

“We will be ready July 7,” she said.

VictoriaStManor

Dr. Nadeem Khan and his wife Farah purchased the Victoria St. Manor property and have renovated and upgraded the site in order to welcome residents once again. The home was formerly owned by the County of Essex but was closed in early 2015.

According to their website, the suites start at $2,750 per month all inclusive.

For more information, visit www.victoriastreetmanor.com or call 519-713-9536 or 226-246-9272.