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Seniors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2022

Seniors Advisory Committee holds public meetings and seeks public input on the needs of seniors in Summerside

SUMMERSIDE, PE – In May, the City of Summerside’s Seniors Advisory Committee hosted three public forums designed to collect relevant data relating to issues impacting the seniors’ population in the area.  A clear mandate of the advisory committee has from the outset determined the need to do an initial assessment of the needs and potential gaps seniors face in our community. The three public meetings were held at Credit Union Place and were moderated by Dr. Katriena McKay and supported by Committee Chair Councillor Cory Snow. For those residents who were unable to attend these sessions, an online survey was also offered. The committee has recently compiled the findings of the sessions and survey and today is releasing some key findings.

Combined attendance at the in-person sessions totaled 60 and there were 28 survey respondents providing what the committee would consider a strong sample size.

Some key takeaways for the committee as it relates to what seniors feel are important services, programs and facilities include:

  • Credit Union Place walking track

  • Summerside boardwalk

  • Rotary Park

  • Attending exercise classes

Some anecdotal insights into many of the activities seniors have been missing as a result of interruptions relating to the Covid-19 pandemic include music in the park, car shows, and programming at the Inspire Learning Centre. Many seniors are eager to enjoy these programs and services as pandemic restrictions ease.

Additionally, the committee learned that attendees reported feeling safe in Summerside thanks to our Police Services, and when asked whether they would be more or less likely to participate in “seniors only” activities, the majority responded that they enjoy mixing with all ages.

The committee was also interested in learning about some of the challenges facing seniors in Summerside such as feelings of social isolation and perceived communication challenges, namely, how does one find out what is going on and how does one access supports? The City of Summerside is attempting to do its part and is putting the initial work in place to initiate an “information for seniors” number to call. The goal would be to allocate resources to our Credit Union Place frontline team and allow seniors to engage with the friendly and knowledgeable reception team at Credit Union Place. The frontline team at Credit Union Place is a wealth of information and will be mandated that if they are unable to provide an initial answer, they will research and return calls as needed. The hope is to have this service available by early fall; stay tuned! The City will also continue to use its social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) as a means to communicate what’s going on in Summerside.

Some additional feedback on where the City could improve the lives of seniors included:

  • Active Transportation Lanes leading to the Inspire Learning Centre

  • The additional accessible parking stalls at Credit Union Place

  • Improved public transit for seniors

  • Computer “how to” supports

The above-mentioned areas of improvement are under review by the committee, who will bring potential solutions back to council and City staff to determine how best to facilitate improvements.

The Seniors Advisory Committee will continue to serve as a voice and advocate for the City of Summerside’s senior population. The committee plans to bring forward several ideas and recommendations that came out of these surveys and discussion groups and will continue to strive to make Summerside an Age Friendly community.

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For more information:

Sandra Zarvie
Secretary, Seniors Advisory Committee
[email protected]
902-432-1246

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