Ladysmith has a new seniors advisory council that met for the first time on Sept. 14.
The council consists of Linda Brown, Gerald Fox, Michael Furlot, Truus Meijer Drees, Sharen Newton, Ed Nicholson, June Raabe, Gary Richardson and Pat Schulson. Trevor Stauffer will be acting as an alternate member.
The councillors met with stakeholders and organizers at the Seniors’ Centre for a brief lunch before it was time to get to business.
Nicholson said at the first meeting the group dedicated Newton the interim-chairperson until a permanent person is selected by the group. They have also asked Pat Edge, who acts as a national seniors councillor, to sit in on the meetings.
According to their mission statement “The Ladysmith Seniors Advisory Council will serve as an advocate and representative of seniors in Ladysmith and area, encouraging seniors to contribute their skills, experience and wisdom in support of the social well-being in our community, and to partner with other like organizations to support the health and well being of all seniors and elders. The Ladysmith Seniors Advisory Council will act in an advisory capacity to and in co-operation with, services already in place, and keep seniors informed of services available.”
Nicholson said the council’s concrete goals and how they will go about attaining them has not yet been forged by the group.
“I think the council has the potential for a lot of good. But it first has to establish how it works.”
“I think maybe some kind of co-ordination in identifying service needs,” said Nicholson of what the council will be doing.
Fox said he hopes the council will bring recognition to local seniors for their contributions to the community.
“There’s a lot of things that could be done to aid seniors that aren’t being done.”
One of the issues Fox wants to see dealt with is sidewalks, noting scooter rides often get very bumpy and driving a scooter on the road is often a dangerous pursuit.
“You take your life in your hands,” said Fox, who himself uses a scooter to get around town.
“One of the things they could do is incorporate them into the bike paths,” said Fox, noting they could be wider to better serve all scooter-users.
Fox also said there needs to be better co-ordination between seniors and other groups in town like Rotary or the Legion and youth in the area.
“Seniors have a lot they can give to the community that the community is not utilizing.”
The Seniors’ Centre is also hosting a complimentary lunch on October 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 630 2nd Ave.