International Year of Older Persons 1999
The Oxford Senior’s Advisory Council, established through Provincial funding, has
been at the forefront of responding to the recognition of a need for supported housing in
Oxford County and in particular, the town of Tillsonburg. Presentations made on behalf of
the community by Jean Jarvis and Murray Dunlop, local representatives on the Council,
led to funds being advanced to conduct a study to help citizens to become better
As a result Jim Henry was hired as a Consultant to lead in the identification of community needs. This action resulted in tours being organized and meetings held to which the public was invited. Jim’s services were funded equally by O.S.A.C. and the County of Oxford through Woodingford Lodge.
Aided by the guidance of people such as Irv Horton, Gayle Leachman, Fran Bell, Gail McMillan and Barbara Helsdon representing the County, Town and Hospital, Ann McKnight, of the Multi-Service Centre, organized the Supported Housing Steering Committee including volunteers from the Community at large. Bob Hines, Director of Woodingford Lodge agreed to act as a Committee resource.
The Supported Housing Steering Committee proceeded to examine the situation of supported housing in the area, determine the specifics of need and involve the different sectors of the community in thinking about control of individual life factors, providing options for seniors in housing and services which take into account affordability, availability and accessibility.
Provided by the Multi-Service Centre, it was noted that in the cases of Queen Street and Maple Lane housing, services were being provided for those in need of personal care and home support services, home maintenance, meals on wheels and volunteer transportation. The Ministry of Health funds the administration of these services which includes household management – tasks such as light house keeping , laundry, meal preparation and banking. Eligibility is determined by the C.C.A.C. Case Manager who arranges for payment or submits a fee for service to the client. The Committee saw its mandate as being involved with reporting conditions of housing for seniors, making recommendations, developing a master plan and identifying the key players.
It also recognized that much publicity should be given to the question if public interest and support were to be engendered. The Committee saw itself as chief promoter of some sort of continuum of housing which would allow people to move from independent living to the various stages of care with the least amount of disruption and change in the faces of care-givers.
It became clear that a major issue was the provision of Long Term Care facilities in the Tillsonburg area. With the majority of facilities located in the northern part of Oxford County, an equitable distribution of Long Term Care services across the County was of utmost importance.
This concern proved to be a serious one for Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital and was partly responsible for it following the lead of O.S.A.C. in the formation of the Supported Housing Initiative. In as much as it did not appear that the Long Term Care issue could be dealt with immediately, it was thought to be expeditious to at least make interim moves towards providing facilities just short of those necessary for Long Term Care. Following the formation of the Supported Housing Initiative Committee, the T.D.M.H. Board agreed to fund the Committee in the amount of $25,000.00 which resulted in the engagement of Gibson & Associates as Consultants. This would allow examination of the needs and the optimum manner in which to address them.
Since the time of these original concerns regarding Long Term Facilities Oxford County, owner and operator of Woodingford Lodge, has decided to upgrade the facilities offered by that institution, resulting in the relocation of 34 Long Term Care beds to Tillsonburg. This action meshes very nicely with the mandate of the Supported Housing Initiative in its effort to consult the public and provide enhanced facilities for seniors.
More recently the major concern of the Steering Committee has been to increase its knowledge of the situation of housing in the community as it now stands. It is evident that there is a need among housing providers for a better understanding of the needs of seniors, with particular regard to accessibility, barrier free design and the marketability of the facilities that they provide. The most recent thinking on the matter suggests that everyone should be concerned with provision of adequate means of independent living for a rapidly aging population.
The Committee is indebted for the support and encouragement which has been given it by the County of Oxford, the Oxford Seniors’ Advisory Council, the Tillsonburg Multi Service Centre and the Tillsonburg District Memorial Hospital.
P R O G R A M M E
Averts A Near Tragedy
|Anne McKim was a typical senior living alone. A while ago she went out to her garage on a domestic errand and fell on the cement floor. “I didn’t know what had happened to me except that I knew it was serious.” she says. She was right. She had broken her hip. Then she pressed the personal help button on the small pendant she was wearing around her neck 24 hours a day. This button when pressed activates a call to the Woodstock Hospital Foundation’s “Lifeline” programme, a programme designed to help men and women who, for whatever reason, feel the need to maintain instant contact with others through an electronic support system. In about half an hour, Anne was in an ambulance on her way to the hospital. “I love my ‘Lifeline’ unit and really don’t know what I’d do without it, said Anne. She also pointed out that one of the other benefits of the device is that it makes “a noise” like an alarm system –so any intruders would quickly be frightened away.||
Begun almost 13 years ago, the programme
has more than 350 subscribers and costs
less than a dollar a day. Barbara Mosley is
the coordinator of the programme. She
points out that the service “isn’t just for the
frail and elderly – there are many men and
women who are really quite young and in
good health who can and should benefit
from this type of support system.”
We are delighted to report that Anne recovered from her fall and went back to her home, However, she has since gone to live in a retirement home. When Barbara called her to ask if we could tell her story she said, “By all means, if my story will help someone else, I would be delighted. I know ‘Lifeline’ gave me peace of mind for many years. I wouldn’t have been without it,” she said.
If you would like to subscribe to “Lifeline” please call 519-421-4211 and ask for Barbara Mosley.
By : Robin Schultz
Alexandra Hospital continues to be an active and busy place. New developments are always occurring and these are just a few of the highlights to keep you informed.
It was recently announced that Sandy Whittall, Site Administrator of Alexandra Hospital, will be leaving for a new position in London. Her new position will be Vice- President, Integrated Networks and Alliances for the London Health Sciences Centre and St. Joseph’s Health Centre. We wish her well and will miss her valuable input.
The recruitment of new doctors continues to be an ongoing issue. We have been actively searching for physicians including participating in a recent Underserviced Area Designation Tour. The tour was an opportunity for all underserviced areas to “show their stuff” to medical students across Ontario at the five medical universities in the province. There was some interest in our community and we will be following up with those interested.
September saw the official opening of the Wellness Day Program which is a partnership between the VON and Alexandra Hospital. The program is an enhanced day program that combines VON Oxford’s Adult Day Centre with services provided by Alexandra Hospital. The program will be used by older people and those with disabilities in Ingersoll and the surrounding area. The program will offer social/recreational activities, rehabilitation services, bathing program, nutritional services, footcare, ongoing health program support and comprehensive interdisciplinary assessment.
Our gift shop (which is managed by our volunteers) continues to bring in unique gift ideas. With Christmas on the horizon it will be a great opportunity for those who like to shop early to come in and browse at the NEW merchandise. The gift shop is located at the West door entrance.
The new Emergency triage window has been established at the hospital. The window allows the nursing staff to assess the patients upon arrival at the emergency department within the 15-minute time frame recommended by the Ministry of Health.
On Thursday, September 30, the Ingersoll Seniors for Health gathered outside the Ambulatory Care entrance at Alexandra Hospital for a tree planting ceremony. The ceremony was celebration of the “International Year of Older Persons”. The tree planted was a ginko tree and we thank them for adding to the beauty of our hospital grounds.
Our Volunteers recently held their orientation. 21 teenagers will participate from October to June with the feeding of patients of the third floor. We do appreciate their assistance with this endeavour.
The Alexandra Hospital Tree of Lights Ceremony will be held on Sunday, November 21. 1999, at 6:30 p.m. The evening involved the lighting of the trees, carol singing, fellowship and of course, a visit from Jolly Old St. Nick. Lights are lit “in memory of” or “In honour of” loved ones for $10 each. The Canon Griffin Memorial Tree has $50 memory bulbs available as well as $250 “in memory of—“ crosses. Sponsorship stars are available on the tree for $1,000.
If you wish to inquire about any of the above activities, please call Robin Schultz at 485-1732, ext. 213, for more information.
YEAR OF THE OLDER
By: Gloria Lee
The I.Y.O.P. Committee has been very busy celebrating International Year of Older Persons.
We had our kick off celebration January 20, 1999. Volunteers manned booths at the Library, Loeb, Your Independent Grocer, Price Check, Guardian Drugs and Shoppers Drug Store to enable us to reach as many older persons as possible.
The Committee had buttons, pens, brochures and wallet size seniors information cards to hand out.
On Saturday, June 12, 1999, the committee held a very successful seniors Trade Fair at I.D.C.I.
August 1999, the committee had an IYOP booth at Ingersoll’s Harvest Fest. It was an intergenerational booth where seniors and children could interact. This also included an intergenerational photo contest.
October 1999, the IYOP Committee hosted a 90+ Tea at the Ingersoll Golf and Country Club to celebrate and each person 90+ was invited and encouraged to bring one guest. The committee is presently working on a calendar for seniors to bring this project forward into the millennium.
The Year 2000 looks very busy. The committee is working on sponsoring a history play written by one of our seniors. It will be an intergenerational cast but the majority of the actors will be seniors. Watch for the advertisements – come and get involved. We are also planning to have a mural designed to carry this celebration of International Year of the Older Person to future generations.
IN A FAMILY COUNCIL PROJECT
The Family Council Project is a joint endeavour between Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities and the Help Resource Centre of Greater Toronto. The three year project was initially funded by Trillium Foundation Community Connections Program, and subsequently The Ministry of Health.
A Family Council is an organized, self-led, self-determining democratic group composed of family and friends of the residents. Emphasis is placed on advocacy, empowerment and mutual support.
BENEFITS OF FAMILY COUNCIL
As a fledging gap we are encouraged knowing families, residents and the facility have Benefited from the Council, and anticipate continued progress as we work together.
The Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)-Oxford provides a single point of access to Long- term care and other community services. CCAC-Oxford offers help to people with acute illnesses, disabilities, and those requiring placement to a long-term care facility. Services are available in the home, school, workplace or long term care facility.
On October 1, 1999, the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)-Oxford entered into four new three year contracts to deliver Nursing services and personal Care & Home Support services to the residents of Oxford County.
The providers for Personal Care & Home Support are:
More than 2000 people use our services on any given day in Oxford County. We are pleased with the outcome of the RFP process, there was no standardized method of evaluating quality and no simple way of ensuring accountability. By requiring a set of principles to be approved by the local CCAC Board, the Ministry expects a number of benefits to flow to the community, the organizations and to the individual clients. All potential service providers know what is being expected; quality services are delivered at a reasonable cost and local services are measured and held accountable to a set of quality standards provided by the Ministry of Health.
The Request for Proposal process (RFP) is part of Ontario’s Long Term Care Reform. All 43 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) across the province are mandated by the Ministry of Health to implement this “competitive model” for purchasing community services such as nursing, homemaking and therapies. CCAC-Oxford’s annual budget for Nursing and Personal Care and Home Support services is as follows:
Nursing - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - $2,441.231.00 Personal Care & Home Support - - - - - - - $4,207,306.00
For further information, please contact Richard Kuhn, CEO or John Oosterink, Director of Client Services at 539-1284 pr 1-800-561-5490.
HOUSING CHOICES FOR SENIORS
By J. L. Jarvis
As able-bodied persons we give little thought to the most important things which we
depend on every day:
Lack of concern for those who are not able-bodied is not the result of callousness on the part of designers, architects or developers. It is just that the plight of the disabled in our society has never been part of our general awareness until recent years. As seniors and consumers it is our job “to improve awareness and promote the concept for a more usable environment for everyone, including children, seniors, anyone who is ‘handicapped’ by conventional design.” Fortunately, many individuals and organizations recognize the need for all citizens, regardless of age, physical ability and financial circumstances, to enjoy a safe environment - - especially in their homes.
As a result we are beginning to hear terms like: BARRIER FREE - - FLEX-HOUSING - - UNIVERSAL DESIGN. But what do these terms imply:
BARRIER – FREE HOUSING
Housing in which a person can move about freely, independently, and safely.
The goal of Barrier-Free Design is physical independence for everyone and the integration of disabled persons into the mainstream of society. Barrier-Free elements have to become part of our standard approach to design. Barrier-Free, aids all ages from a small child trying to open a door to a man carrying groceries and pushing a stroller, to a grandparent using a walker, to a disabled person using a wheelchair.
Barrier-Free Design can meet all of our criteria for the “4-A-s” of DESIGN”
ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, ADOPTABLE, AESTHETICALLY PLEASING.
Barrier-Free can be created by renovations OR Barrier-Free can be built in from the start.
Studies have proven that when Barrier-Free concepts are built in, initially, there is little if any need for increase in cost. (CMHC STUDIES).
As your life’s priorities change, Flex-Housing gives you the ability to change your living space to meet your changing needs.
Flex Housing is designed to be:
ACCESSIBLE, AFFORDABLE, ADOPTABLE, AESTHETICALLY PLEASING
ACCESSIBLE: Barriers are eliminated in the planning stages. Doors and corridors are wider; bathrooms are roomier; kitchens are safe, easy to work in for old and young, short and tall, seated or standing. Bedrooms can be transformed into a home office, sewing room or to suit your particular needs. Floor plans are adaptable to suit individual needs and aesthetics. Moms can enter as easily with a stroller – as a friend can enter with a walker or wheelchair. Persons with vision problems can choose colours/textures which aid their vision and enhance safety. Flex-Housing concepts can be built into private homes—apartments—condominiums- senior complexes. Flex-Housing expands choices and enhances resale value of any living space.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN HOUSING
The concept of Universal Design is different than accessible design. Accessible or Barrier-Free design generally refers to buildings that are accessible to persons with physical disabilities.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN refers to products and buildings which are usable and accessible to everyone, including persons with disabilities. Goal of Universal Design: To make the entire building invisibly accessible.
BARRIER FREE/ACCESSIBLE generally suggests a ramp leading to a building, or a bathroom with special signage. It often sets persons with special needs apart and draws attention to differences.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN provides one solution that can accommodate people with disabilities as well as the rest of the population.
UNIVERSAL DESIGN gives attention to the needs of older people, young people, women and men, left handed as well as right handed persons. An entrance way designed as UNIVERSAL would not have any stairs and the doors are easily opened by everyone. A high standard of Aesthetics ensures that the living environment is attractive as well as useful. Universal Design does not imply that everything in this world can be fully usable by everyone, rather it refers to a goal to be reached, an attitude to be learned.
© 2002 Oxford Seniors' Advisory Council
This site hosted by Oxford County Library
courtesy of the Community Access Program.