REPORT OF THE SEPTEMBER 29, 2017, INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS
A Planning Committee was established and consisted of representatives from HBO CURC, OFUR, CARP, NAFR, SOAR kinjunxion, Council of Canadians, Age Friendly Hamilton, and the United Way of Halton & Hamilton.
Kinjunxion is a recently established organization that helps "families and support connect". They provide assistance in promoting connectuions among organizations and help get their message out into the public domain.
The Planning Committee developed and circulated leaflets promoting the September 29 IDOP event, identified and invited speakers, developed the agenda, arranged the refreshments and requested donations to help cover the costs of the event.
The donation from National CURC was greatly appreciated.
The theme of the September 29 IDOP event was: Seniors Health Care.
The event was held in the Hamilton City Council Chambers. The International Day of Older Persons Flag was on display.
Media releases were circulated to local media: Newspapers, radio and CHCH TV and Cable 14 Community TV.
Local Newspaper and Community Newspapers published promotional articles and Cable 14 Community TV carried an interview of the IDOP event.
Local area social services agencies were invited to set up information displays. Twenty Two Social agencies responded and set up information tables-including the Canadian Hearing Society, YMCA Seniors Active Living Centres, Ontario Health Coalition, Alzheimers Society of Hamilton and Halton and The United Way of Halton & Hamilton.
Greetings were made by the Mayor's Special Assistant since the Mayor was indisposed.
Brief presentation outling Seniors Voice and what the International Day of Older Persons was all about.
Key Note Speakers included:
- Laurie Brown, VP Ontario Nurses Association spoke about the impact of professional staffing on the healthcare needs of seniors.
- Rachel Weldrick, McMaster University, Department of Health, Aging and Society spoke about Seniors Isolation.
- Natalie Mehra, Executive Director, Ontario Health Coalition, spoke about challenges to accessing healthcare for older adults.
All the speakers were well received
Over one hundred plus attended the September 29 IDOP event.
A majority completed a questionnaire entitled: 'What Must Be Done To Improve Healthcare Services For All'. Completed Questionnaires were given to the Hamilton Health Coalition for their information and possible use.
The Planning Committee requested Natalie Mehra to write an article about Health Care to be published in the Hamilton Spectator Newspaper. The article was published on Friday September 29 entitled: 'Older Persons Day-A Time to push for a change-Hospital crisis resulting in seniors treated inhumanely'. The article was well received.
Photos were taken of the event by a HBO CURC volunteer.
The Planning Committee will be conducting a de-briefing of the September 29 IDOP event to review what went right and what can be done to improve attendance and generate additional media interest.
Submitted by Malcolm Buchanan
Chair of the IDOP Planning Committee