Raising the roof and raising awareness

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Rendez-Vous Centre President Ken Hashey received a $15,225 cheque Mar. 25 from Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinec. The Community Initiatives Program (CIP) funding was presented on behalf of Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Minister of Culture. The funding will be used for roof repairs at the Rendez-Vous Centre. – Lucie Roy Photo

By Lucie Roy

Morinville – The Rendez-Vous Centre will be going forward with some needed roof repairs thanks to a $15,225 grant from the Community Initiatives Program (CIP). Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock MLA Maureen Kubinec presented the cheque Mar. 25 on behalf of Honourable Heather Klimchuk, Alberta’s Minister of Culture.

Monday’s cheque presentation was followed by a briefing and discussion between Gary Pool, President of the Alberta Council on Aging (ACA) and members of the Rendez-Vous Centre’s board and MLA Kubinec. The talk focuses on a number of seniors’ issues and organizations, including the Alberta Council on Aging, Senior Friendly Program, senior fraud, Alberta Network of Seniors Related Organization(ANSRO) and the Seniors Task Force, Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton (SAGE).

Pool said the ACA is a province-wide independent non-profit organization with representatives in nine regions covering the province. They are currently actively working with two significant programs: the Seniors Fraud Prevention Program and an in-house program called Senior Friendly.

“The senior friendly program provides tools that can be used to help improve businesses and service organizations dealing with seniors,” Pool explained. “The program provides train-the-trainer type training to assist others in developing their own programs. It is of special interest at this point for those communities trying to achieve age friendly communities or age friendly city status.”

The ACA is also collaborating with seniors groups and seniors service groups in two other areas: the ANSRO and the Seniors Task Force.

Pool said the ANSRO is an unincorporated and informal network of provincial and community-based organizations that are concerned about the availability of services for seniors. They have 14 organizations involved which SAGE, Kerby Centre in Calgary, Alberta Senior Citizen Housing Association (ASCHA), Alberta Community and Cooperative Association (ACCA) and Alberta Seniors United Now (Sun).

The third point Pool spoke of was the Seniors Task Force, coordinated through Public Interest Alberta. Pool said this group was to develop a short list of issues that all groups agreed were a priority. The Seniors Task Force developed five issues, which were reviewed in October with Ministers Fred Horne and George VanderBurg. The five issues were the shortage of long term care spaces in Alberta, the concept of an Independent Seniors Advocate, adequate staffing levels in senior’s care facilities, the need for more accessible and affordable Home Care, and the future direction of senior’s café in Alberta.

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