Seniors talk about issues and services

Seniors attending a seminar in Rimbey recently listed friendly faces, a hospital, stores that deliver, and a police force as positives

Peggy Makofka

Peggy Makofka

Seniors attending a seminar in Rimbey recently listed friendly faces, a hospital, stores that deliver, and a police force as positives that help enhance their lifestyle and keep them living in Rimbey.

About 40 people attended the half-day “When I’m 64” seminar held at the Seniors’ Drop In Centre Jan. 3 to talk about challenges and issues they face as they age.

“There were no surprises, really,” said Peggy Makofka, executive director of Rimbey FCSS, which co-sponsored the seminar along with Rimoka Housing Foundation and the Seniors Drop In Centre. “People really value having access to homecare and the handivan.”

Makofka said seniors appreciate services already available. Many use scooters as a means of transportation that works well, but Makofka noted some discussion centred on the use of golf carts that would allow for transportation of passengers and also provide space to bring home groceries.

“There was not a lot of discussion about housing, mostly services and transportation were what people wanted to talk about,” she said.

Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson, who also attended the seminar, found the discussion interesting.

“It’s important to seniors to stay in their own homes and be close to their doctors.”

Lori Kovacs, executive director of Communities Development Society, said it’s important seniors have a say in the planning and future of their community live. She added it should be a priority that seniors remain in the community they know and love.

“If seniors have to retire outside of their community, they are giving up a lot and so is their community. They lose their neighborhood and their ties with friends. The community loses their wisdom and the value they add to the community,” said Kovacs.

Rural Alberta seniors want to age where they live, in the communities they know and love,” she added. The Rural Way is a service of Communities Development Society which offers workshops and seminars for individuals and communities throughout Alberta.