North Bay & District
Refreshed, Revitalized, Read All About It!
Hello Zoomers (those are Boomers with Zip!) Your chapter is launching a new website and implementing regular newsletters. Both will be updated at least once a month, most likely even more often, so check back regularly. It will be distributed through your email and be available on our new website: www.carp.ca/category/community/chapters/central/north-bay. When we started the chapter in 2004, as does all other reputable organizations, we conducted a member survey and together we developed our vision, mission and values statements..We offered annual seminars and conferences which provided current and important information, as well as, networking opportunities. However, after 10 years we suffered board fatigue; as a result, last year there was no conference – but it’s BACK! Save the date – May 2 at the Clarion, we will offer Zoomer North 2015! So what’s changed this year? Firstly, we had great response to our request for new board members and now possess talent to produce newsletters, utilize social media, and build on a an already great website to which partners can advertise or cross populate stories or important information for our members. Imagine the possibilities! Our municipal landscape has also changed with the election of new mayors and council – except for North Bay where Al MacDonald was easily reelected. Speaking of which, we recently interviewed his worship to get his perspective on seniors’ issues. He is very cognizant of the need for more seniors’ friendly development, especially assisted living for those who can’t live alone but don’t need Long Term Care Institutions. We expect to be involved in a community engagement initiative of strategic planning in the coming months. CARP has three avenues of service – Advocacy, Community and Benefits. As Chapter President, I personally vow to become more devoted and entrenched with Advocacy. Our members face so many challenges, from healthcare to fraud and everything in between, so it’s understandable that it is sometimes impossible to navigate them without advice and guidance from experts. An example of misinformation which was recently communicated to us by one of our members, who shared how this member heard of a”70+ driver who was involved in a traffic incident, even when not at fault, was required to do a driving test and be reduced to a G1 license until it is complete.” We are all familiar with the mandatory testing at age 80; however, this was new to us…so we went on a quest to learn the facts. We interviewed Staff Sergeant Richard Dubeau, North Bay Police Services, who refers to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, provided by the Ontario Government, for all traffic laws governing our roads. Staff Sergeant Dubeau wrote in an email, “The North Bay Police Service only follows the Highway Traffic Act and the police never deal with testing or issuing driver licences. That is done through Ontario Services for the Ministry of Transportation.” However there is a caveat, he further explained during our conversation“…police do not take driver’s license based on his or her age, rather will take action (in extreme circumstances) based. on incidents. Police will refer a case to the MOT based on the seriousness or frequency of motor vehicle collisions. It is then the MOT who may require the driver to take a vision test, written test, and road test.” Before I wrap up, I wanted to remark on our healthcare system which struggles under the increasing need for home and community care. The system is becoming more and more difficult for patients and their caregivers to navigate and they are often in need of an advocate to help. By the way, did you know that nearly 80 per cent of all homecare across the country is provided by volunteers and relatives! Just imagine the challenge the system will face when these caregivers need care! Here are two articles which demonstrates my point: Falling between the cracks A new survey of seniors in 11 countries paints a bleak picture for greying Canadians, who rank last in getting timely access to family doctors and specialists.-(The London Free Press; 11/20/2014; Page A3) [read article] The LHIN holds your life in the balance-(Windsor Star; 11/20/2014; Page A8) [read article] Clearly, there many challenges facing seniors which are not easy to sort through. We intend to focus more effort on this area of advocacy in future editions. We are anxious to meet new and existing members who have knowledge and experience in law, healthcare, or social services and who are prepared to assist in this regard. R.M.(Ron)Farrell Chapter President and Board Chair [email protected]