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Photo by Mark Newman

Photo by Mark Newman

Erwin Peter emphasizes a point while Judy Scott looks on. The central Mountain residents were among 20 or so seniors that took part in a discussion on how to make Hamilton more age-friendly at the Sackville Seniors Recreation Centre on April 24.

“We’re not just white-haired dummies”

Seniors give input to age-friendly city initiative

 By Mark Newman, News Staff 

What would make Hamilton more age friendly?

Judy Scott didn’t mince words when answering that question.

“I think the young people need to realize that we’re not just white-haired dummies,” said the 82-year-old central Mountain resident. “I get tired of people telling me how to work the (debit card) machine when you put your card in it and press the buttons as if I’ve never done it before and it’s frustrating to be kind of labeled not knowledgeable enough.”

Scott was among about 20 seniors who took part in the first of a series of discussions on how to improve local services for an aging population at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre on April 24. 

The city along with the Hamilton Council on Aging and the Seniors Advisory Committee are gathering input that will be turned into a plan that will address the needs and concerns of older residents.

Denise O’Connor, a consultant with the council on aging, said the plan, including recommendations, will be presented to city council in September.

She noted any issues or concerns that are not part of the city’s jurisdiction will be referred to the appropriate agency or level of government.

At Sackville the seniors were split into groups of four or five and asked to discuss a variety of topics from what brought them to the meeting to how to make the city more age friendly.

Seventy-eight-year-old Lois Lowenberg said there needs to be better in-home care in Hamilton.

“The homecare for the elderly should be improved because the situation that I’ve been involved in, the people that need the help are not getting the help when they need it,” she said.

Erwin Peter said he would like to see something done about speedy drivers that buzz by the apartment complex where he lives on Mohawk Road near Upper Wentworth.

“The traffic is too fast,” the 85-year-old said.

Elvira Cook, 83, said would also like to see something done about the graffiti in her central Mountain neighbourhood.

“If they get after these people that mark up all the mail boxes and all the poles,” she said. “I think it’s horrible.”

Local seniors are invited to take part in other round table discussions on how to make Hamilton age friendly on May 7, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Stoney Creek Recreation Centre at 45 King Street West in Stoney Creek; May 9, 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Valley Park Recreation Centre on Paramount Drive in upper Stoney Creek and on May 15,  2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church on Mill Street North in Waterdown.

Call 905-777-3837 ext. 12238 to reserve a seat.

O’Connor said seniors who cannot make it to any of the sessions but would like to offer their input can do so by filling out a discussion guide that is available at city hall, Sackville or any municipal service centre.

An online survey is available at www.coahamilton.ca.

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