Age-friendly committee speaks for senior needs

Age-friendly committee speaks for senior needs

Housing, healthcare among requests made to Council Tuesday night

Photo: Councillor Fred Neale brought forward several motions on behalf of the Age Friendly Committee this week. Bob Liddycoat / Thorold News

Seniors need affordable senior housing, an x-ray clinic, and a long-term care facility in Thorold, according to the city’s Age Friendly Committee.

A request for all three was made on the volunteer group’s behalf by Coun. Fred Neale Tuesday night.

The committee is “seeking a decrease in wait times for senior housing,” he stated, adding that the current length of time is “6.5 years to get a unit in a seniors’ complex.”

Council passed his motion to send a letter to Niagara Regional Housing to decrease the wait time from 6.5 years to three years by 2022.

And since Thorold doesn’t have an x-ray clinic in Thorold, seniors are forced to go to St. Catharines to get x-rays, said Neale.

“We have a lot more doctors than we have in the past. A void in the community has been created since Life Labs stopped this service.”

Council agreed to approach medical x-ray vendors to establish the service in Thorold.

In addition, the Age Friendly committee is seeking a long-term care facility in the city, said Neale.

“We don’t have a facility in Thorold and we need one. “

Since there isn’t a plan for one in the works, “and the Province has stated a commitment to establish 25,000 beds across the province,” Neale made a motion that council “actively pursue partnerships and options for a long-term facility,” with involvement from the mayor’s office, and a follow-up report coming back to council on the issue.

“I think this is one of our biggest concerns,” noted Coun. Carmen DeRose, who has broached the subject with staff at the Region. “They say they don’t have any money for that, so we need to look at the not for profit and for profit” sectors for the facility, he stated.

“We need to make it appealing for these developers, and look at land we have available. If we have everything shovel-ready, and can get through the hurdles of paperwork and zoning,” it would create more incentive for them to build here, said DeRose.

Council voted to proceed seeking partnerships for a facility.

Source: Thorold News