After a whole year of investigation, research and consultation, the Chestermere Seniors Task Force presented their recommendations to City Council last Tuesday.
“We are so pleased to receive the report from the Seniors Task Force,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “They have done a great deal of hard work to identify everything we need to consider to ensure our seniors can age in place in Chestermere. While we haven’t made any decisions about how to move ahead yet, this report helps us better understand where we are at and what we might need for our seniors.”
The report identified six recommendations for City Council to consider to support seniors in our community. These include:
- Housing: The report recommends that the City improve seniors housing options in Chestermere by working with partners and stakeholders. Suggestions include working with developers, seeking a community site that would include seniors’ housing and identifying housing gaps.
- Home Support: The report recommends that the City advocate and ensure health-related services are in place to help seniors age in their home. Examples include exploring enhanced medical partnerships, advocating for extended services and pursuing a Seniors’ Day Clinic.
- Community Support: The report recommends exploring improved services for seniors, including the development of a senior’s resource book, enhanced services from Community Support Services and commitments to advisory groups for seniors’ issues.
- Communication: The report recommends improving communication to and from seniors in Chestermere. Suggested strategies included providing regular senior-focused communication, a dedicated Senior Services Coordinator, and improving connections with existing partnerships and advocacy groups.
- Transportation: The report recommends improving transportation services to help connect seniors within and outside of Chestermere. Strategies included developing a transit solution to accommodate mobility aids, expanding the Handibus Service, and exploring affordable transportation options for seniors.
- Seniors’ Centre: The report recommends that the City provide a Seniors’ Centre that meets all seniors’ needs. Detailed suggestions to make that happen included collaborating with the Whitecappers group and liaising with Alberta Health Services to explore mutually beneficial options.
“The presentation of this Final Report was an exciting culmination of the hard work and many hours put in over this past year. The six recommendations from the Task Force’s Housing, Health and Supports & Services Sub-Committees are supported by specific strategies that I hope will become City Council’s ‘To-Do List’ to be addressed and implemented over the next one to five years. Once implemented, these strategies will benefit Chestermere residents of all ages, not just our seniors,” said Sherri Standish, the Task Force Co-Chair.
After the presentation, City Council decided to create a Council Advisory Committee on Seniors so the City can continue to move ahead on addressing the identified needs.
“Improving senior support services is a big priority for us as a City Council and thanks to the hard work of the Task Force, we now have a better understanding of what we have, what we need and the work that needs to be done,” says Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “The report lays out important recommendations for us to consider as we make decisions about strategies, priorities and budgets in the coming years, and we thank the Task Force for their contribution.”
Information about how to join the new Council Advisory on Seniors will be provided in the coming weeks.