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Seniors to discuss aging in place

Annual general meeting followed by discussion on healthy aging



Once again Whistler seniors will be talking about possible seniors housing sites at their upcoming annual general meeting.

Indeed, finding a place to "age in place" has been the Mature Action Committee's goal ever since it was established roughly 10 years ago. They have yet to give up and remain focused on the task at hand and, to their credit, a number of promising possibilities are on the horizon.

This year, however, the AGM will be followed by a Dialogue Forum, designed to engage seniors in discussion around "Healthy Aging in Whistler."

"Seniors in Whistler are rather a unique bunch," said senior Marnie Simon, who is on the MAC board of directors and chairperson for the Whistler Health Care Foundation. "They're very active. They're healthy and they want to stay healthy and they want to help themselves to be healthy."

Simon encourages all seniors, even those who are loathe to think of themselves as seniors, to come together on Friday, April 15 to discuss not only the possibility of seniors housing but also what's needed in Whistler for seniors to stay here and be healthy growing old here.

Already Simon can think of a handful of things.

For example, she said, Whistler needs more home care services. Those types of resources, she added, are inadequate in Whistler and Pemberton.

More doctors in the area would also help particularly doctors focused on elderly patient care.

"Walk in clinics and emergency clinics, they're not really what seniors need," she said. "You need a continuity of care."

And more diagnostic facilities in Whistler would also help and prevent seniors, and others, from making the trip to Vancouver for lab work and other things.

All these things to help seniors stay healthy in their twilight years could be so much easier if there was a community to base the services around, she added, and so the AGM and the forum topics go hand in hand.

"If people are in a community where the services are centred there they can help themselves and access services," said Simon.

The AGM kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15. The forum gets underway at 7:30 and runs for two hours.

A number a guest speakers, including Whistler physician Dr. Ian Tamplin, and gerontologist, Dr. Kenneth Madden will be attending the meeting as part of a panel of experts.

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