Seniors Consultation Helps Identify Priority Program Areas
Medicine Hat – A report on a community consultation process to help shape priority program areas and future service offering for seniors in Medicine Hat was shared at today’s Public Services Committee meeting.
The consultation process explored the overarching question: How can we better support older adults to be active, connected and age well in the community – now and into the future?
“What we heard during the consultation will shape priority program areas and future service offerings,” said Brian Mastel, Public Services Commissioner. Themes noted are inclusion and accessibility, awareness and education, intergenerational activity, creating a central hub, providing opportunities for participation and engagement, and addressing ageism and fostering respect.”
Engagement activities included one-on-one semi-structured interviews, an online survey and forum, engagement kiosks at the Esplanade, FLC, Medicine Hat Public Library (MHPL), fall trade show and the Veiner Centre, stakeholder workshops, open house community consultation sessions at the Veiner Centre and MHPL and a targeted focus group with emerging seniors. The consultation was initiated in November 2019 and concluded in January 2020.
The consultation is part of a larger project to examine alternative operating models for seniors services with the objective of determining if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way that reduces the need for contribution from the tax base. To this end the City is seeking proposals from qualified proponents interested in operating the Veiner Centre.
“For the past four years, the City has been on a journey to increased sustainability via the Financially Fit for the Future initiative,” said Mastel. “Coupled with the impact of COVID-19, the City is facing increased financial pressures, elevating the need to explore new opportunities for cost savings and revenue generation while still maintaining valuable services to the community.”
The City will also seek proposals from service providers interested in operating the Meals on Wheels program. Examining how food services and the Meals on Wheels program are delivered will help ensure the success and sustainability of the programs and the City.
“One-third of our population is over the age of 50 and that demographic is growing. How we help seniors be healthy and well will increasingly be important to maintain the vibrancy and liveliness of the community,” said Mastel. “We are committed to serving all residents of our community in an effective and efficient manner.”
Supporting Our Seniors, Now and Into the Future: What We Heard Report is available on the City’s website at www.medicinehat.ca/shapeyourcity .
Service providers interested in submitting a proposal can expect to find the opportunities posted at https://bidsandtenders.net by the end of the week.
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For media inquiries, please contact:
Commissioner, Public Services
City of Medicine Hat