International Day of Older Persons

On December 14, 1990, the UN General Assembly decided to make October 1st the International Day of Older Persons. This day is now celebrated annually to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives. Regional Council recognizes how important it is to respond to the various opportunities and challenges of an aging population which is why one of our priorities is to deliver programs that meet the needs of seniors in our community. Over the next 25 years, population projections are estimating those aged 65+ in Halton will almost triple in size from 67,000 in 2011 to over 187,000 by 2036.

Halton Region works closely with our Elder Services Advisory Committee (ESAC), to enhance the quality of life of older adults. For more than 25 years, this dynamic committee has developed responses to policy issues, conducted research on seniors’ issues, recommended ways to improve our communications and helped our staff consider a variety of issues when planning our programs.

Halton’s Social and Community Services Department provides a number of services for seniors including:

  • Three choices for long term care:
  • Four Assisted Living Programs: one in Milton, one in Oakville and two in Burlington.
  • Three Adult Day Programs: Milton Place and Friends’ Landing, both situated in the Allendale complex and Silver Creek Place in Georgetown.
  • A Supports for Daily Living Program at the John R. Rhodes Seniors Residence in Oakville.

The Region’s Health Department also works with local partners to build healthy aging communities and provide resources to keep older adults healthy and living independently for as long as possible.

We understand the important role that seniors play in helping shape our communities. By working together with older adults, community organizations, and advisory bodies like ESAC, and by providing a variety of programs and services we can ensure that Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you would like more information about Halton Region Services for Seniors, please dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca/seniors. For more information about ESAC, visit www.halton.ca/esac.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Two Halton services achieve top accreditation rating

I’m very proud to share that recently, the Region’s Services for Seniors and the North Halton Mental Health Clinic received accreditation with exemplary standing from one of the leading national accreditation organizations, Accreditation Canada.Creek Way 13

Completing accreditation means that Halton’s programs are measured against national standards of excellence. These standards examine all aspects of health care, from patient safety and ethics, to staff training and partnering with the community. Exemplary standing is the highest level of performance an organization can receive and AC has only given this standing to 20% of those they have surveyed. It’s an incredible achievement and shows our services not only met national standards, but exceeded them.

The high rating from Accreditation Canada is also consistent with the high satisfaction rating we received from Halton residents. In recent polling, 97% of residents indicated they are satisfied with the overall services provided by Halton Region. Another achievement of which I am very proud.

To find out more about Services for Senior and the North Halton Mental Health Clinic, or the many other services offered by Halton Region, please visit www.halton.ca or give us a call by dialing 311.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Creating healthy communities through active transportation

In Halton we have many programs and policies in place (and in development) that support Halton as a great place to be active and live sustainably. We value citizen’s input in the work that we do, and a great example of this is the Health Department’s walkON program.

walkON is a program that promotes the idea of the walkable, bikeable, and transit walkOnsupportive communities, encouraging people to walk, bike or take transit as an alternative to driving.

One of the unique features of this program is that it is based on a partnership that includes many different members of our community. Some of these members include:

  • Citizens
  • Activists
  • Government staff
  • Elected officials
  • Service providers
  • Businesses

The role of the Health Department is to coordinate and bring people together and to support communities that are working to organize and improve their neighbourhoods. walkON also offers a variety of tools to help support those interested in making a change. In 2012, the program focused on delivering two successful multi-sectoral workshops, as laid out in our Citizens’ Priorities Action Plan.

The first workshop was held in Georgetown and focused on the walkability, safety and accessibility of older adults. The end result of the workshop was that commitments were made by both the Town and residents to inquire about local infrastructure changes to help seniors access local shops with ease.

The second workshop held in Oakville has led to a coalition of many existing partners called the Oakville Sustainable Transportation Coalition. This coalition is still in its infancy and they are building on the Town’s strong policy base to work hand-in-hand making walking, cycling and transit use more practical for its local residents.

Currently Halton Region is creating an Active Transportation Master Plan to help connect our communities.  To learn more about how you can get involved, or if you would like to learn more about walkON and other health related programs, please dial 311 or visit www.halton.ca.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Aldershot Village Residence and Martin House Seniors Residence official opening ceremonies

Affordable and Assisted Housing is a priority in Halton’s Citizens’ Priorities 2011-2014 Action Plan. Providing housing supports to address the needs of low income residents is an important issue that requires commitment, investment and response from multiple levels of government and partnerships with community agencies.

On October 19, representatives from all levels of government joined the residents of Aldershot Village Residence in Burlington for a ribbon cutting, tours and an official opening ceremony.

On November 15 we will gather again to celebrate the official opening of Martin House Seniors Residence in Milton. Together these two buildings add 145 units of assisted housing for seniors to our community.

Martin House Seniors Residence and Aldershot Village Residence are shining examples of how all levels of government can come together to meet the needs of our growing community.

I had the opportunity to meet many residents of Aldershot Village and I’m very proud of the positive feedback they have about their new building and the sense of community that lives within it. Working together, we all make Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

2012 Halton Seniors’ Directory Now Available

Seniors, families and caregivers in Halton will benefit from the great information contained within the 2012 edition of the Halton Seniors’ Directory.  Compiled by Halton Region’s Elder Services Advisory Committee, the directory contains important information about services provided to seniors in Halton by various levels of government, service clubs, non-profit, for profit and community based agencies. Key categories in the 2012 directory include community information; financial aid programs; home and community support programs; housing; legal services; leisure and education; multicultural programs; safety; support groups/counselling services; and transportation. 

On Tuesday, January 24, 2012 I had the pleasure of helping members of ESAC as they began to unpack boxes of the directories for distribution to community service providers during a special directory “pick up day”.  We held this event to get the directory out to as many community service agencies as possible so that seniors could go to their local library, CCAC office, seniors’ centre or municipal office to pick up a copy of the directory.

The Halton Seniors’ Directory is a great resource for seniors in Halton and it is an important way we connect seniors, their families and caregivers with services in the community. The directory is an action item identified in The Citizens’ Priorities Plan – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan.  It is part of the Region’s commitment to providing information and resources to seniors, their families and their caregivers.

In addition to the directory, Halton Region’s Elder Services Advisory Committee distributes a number of informative resources to seniors in Halton.  Visit www.halton.ca/esac for links to online resources for seniors. To order a copy of the directory contact Halton Region by dialing 311 or visit  your local seniors’ centre, library, the Community Care Access Centre, and municipal offices to pick up a copy.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Age-Friendly Communities Forum

On June 2, Halton Region’s Elder Services Advisory Committee (ESAC) hosted an Age-Friendly Communities Forum at the Halton Regional Centre. The event brought together over 100 Halton seniors, business representatives, and community stakeholders who worked together to develop ideas on how to continue to build age-friendly communities in Halton.  

During the event, participants divided into working groups to discuss the results of focus group research recently conducted by ESAC. These groups were organized by themes that represent the core principles of age-friendly communities (External LinkAdobe Portable Document Format (PDF)) as established by the World Health Organization External Link. The discussion groups were lively and many interesting ideas were shared and considered. 

The work accomplished by those who attended the Age-Friendly Community Forum is important for a number of reasons. First, over the next few years, the population of Halton Region will see a significant increase in residents who are over the age of 65. This demographic shift is occurring in communities across Canada External Link, and there is a growing need for communities in Halton to examine what changes can be made that will make it easier for seniors to be safe, maintain their health, and participate fully in their community.

Also, the information collected through the group discussions will be used to develop opportunities for action that will be shared with Regional Council and the broader Halton community. 

I would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the success of the forum. It is important that Regional Council hears from Halton residents, service providers, and planners on this important matter.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”