Safety means different things to different age groups: newborns’ needs are different from children which are different from teens distinct from adults and different again from seniors. Almost two years ago I first met with the Kindersley Visually Impaired group. After meeting with them I had a new appreciation for their challenges such as street crossings, sidewalks, curbs and more.
Seniors understanding of safety is more nuanced than I, or my sons, percieve. Here are some examples of things seniors are watching for:
- Are the sidewalks uneven, cracked, clear of snow, and bushes?
- Is there enough lighting to see the sidewalk?
- Are my neighbours watching my house and yard?
- Does someone touch base with me everyday to see if I’m okay?
- Is the hospital or doctor’s office easy to access?
- Is there a lot of snow on the street?
- Is there suitable housing for me where I live?
- Can I get a ride, taxi, bus?
- Are there things for me to do around town such as seniors centre, the mall, and more?
- Do my local politicians listen to me?
Helping seniors is a community effort. I would hate to think where we would be without the care and diligence of the many volunteers and groups who make life for seniors better. It is volunteers and groups who:
- Plan activities at the care homes,
- Drive them to their appointments,
- Cut their grass and shovel their driveway,
- Advocate on their behalf,
How does the Town try answer these questions? Here are some of the things we are trying to do:
- We are leveling sidewalks and grinding the edges of sidewalks – this is ongoing and the Town is still behind.
- Main streets and major routes are cleared.
- The Town tries to keep public spaces clear as is reasonably possible.
- The Seniors’ bus is supported by the Town.
- Open houses and public meetings are held at Caleb.
Safety means something different for seniors and I’m grateful for the help my mother-in-law and mom receive from their neighbours and support groups.