Tumbler Ridge Mayor?s Task Force on Seniors? Needs

Grag Halseth, Acting director of UNBC?s Community Development Institute (CDI) met with seniors, the District, and Northern Health representatives on April 28th at the Tumbler Ridge (TR) Community Centre. About 20 people gathered in room four to listen to the TR relevant results of the ?Seniors? Needs Study? conducted by CDI for the Peace River Regional District (PRRD).

Key Summary Findings and the Final Report on Focus Groups summarized the results in regards to seniors? needs in: infrastructure/planning, housing, health care, social support service, transportation networking, physical environment and education. The extracted data came from surveys and from Focus Groups held in each community in the region.

In Tumbler Ridge 524 surveys were completed which is a response rate of 59.5%. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents are in the ?near retirement? age.

The proportion of the older workforce (age 45 and older) has grown from 10.7% in 1986 to 46.7% in 2006 (Statistics Canada, Census). These facts explain why seniors? needs are getting more attention from many sectors.

In Tumbler Ridge the six core-group members representing Health Care, Seniors Groups and District are Mayor Mike Caisley, Dave Price, Dr. Charles Helm, Gail Neumann, Frank Walsh and George Hartford .

After the presentation on April 28th this group met twice to define the next steps to be taken to fill the defined seniors? needs in our community. New interested seniors came to the table and there will be a coordinator hired to help with organization and networking.

There are communities in BC that are more advanced in the process, for example Terrace and Vanderhoof. The Tumbler Ridge Mayors? Task Force on Seniors? Needs shows results and cooperation towards a solution(s) to fill the gaps.

The next meeting will focus on seniors driven community projects. The long term goal of this initiative is to provide quality life in our community.