Seniors discuss housing, social issues at forum

A forum to discuss seniors housing and social issues in Sylvan Lake saw strong participation with about 35 seniors in attendance

A forum to discuss seniors housing and social issues in Sylvan Lake saw strong participation with about 35 seniors in attendance last Wednesday.

Participants broke into groups, and were joined by members of the Sylvan Lake Seniors Advisory Committee, to provide their thoughts on everything from resources available to seniors in Sylvan Lake to ideal living conditions.

The purpose of the forum was to gather feedback to be compiled into a report that will be distributed publicly among seniors groups and organizations around town.

Brittney Buehler, FCSS (Family and Community Support Services) seniors services co-ordinator and member of the advisory committee, said the forum proved hugely successful in that regard.

“It was a great turnout,” she said. “It was interesting to see their point of view.”

The idea came for the meeting resulted from a Sylvan Lake Lodge Foundation board retreat, where it was determined certain questions would need to be answered to assist with future planning.

Those questions were posed to the groups of seniors at last Wednesday’s forum, and produced useful feedback, according to Buehler.

“Everybody was sharing lots of great ideas,” she said.

Participants were asked what seniors’ services they were aware of in Sylvan Lake, what seniors services they would like to see in Sylvan Lake, and what type of housing they think the town needs.

“We wanted to hear what the seniors in Sylvan Lake had to say about housing and to see their awareness of different services that are available to them in Sylvan Lake,” said Buehler.

Responses were recorded, and will be integrated into the report, she added.

Increased recreational opportunities, providing more care for caregivers and having single-floor housing with the absence of stairs were among them.

Being close to shopping and transit were also important considerations for many in attendance, said Buehler.

Overall feedback provided throughout the evening was positive, she added.

“There were a lot of responses saying we don’t need to leave Sylvan Lake for anything, so that was good,” she said.

Future changes will make the town even more accommodating for seniors, she feels.

“With the Seniors Centre going into the Multiplex (NexSource Centre), next year and the year after will bring great changes for Sylvan Lake, and I think a lot of seniors will be even happier.”