Connections now launched

St. Aidan’s Society connects with local seniors

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

The St. Aidan’s Society has launched a seniors-focused newsletter and directory to connect the community’s aging demographic to services and events available throughout the Wood Buffalo region.

“Most seniors don’t have access to information through the internet, so this is a way to reach out and share information to this specific group of residents,” said Sandy Grandison, Community Projects Facilitator at the Society.

The newsletter – named Connections – will be featured exclusively within Connect Weekly’s print publication on a monthly basis. (Check out page 10 and 11 in this edition for the first Connections newsletter.)

“The newsletter is about making connections on all levels. We want seniors to be able to feel connected to the community. We want to make sure that isolated seniors are ‘in the know’ about what’s going on around the city. We want to hear from them and help them make and maintain connections, as well as partnerships,” Grandison explained.

The 160-page seniors’ directory has been printed into 1,500 copies and will be available across the region. The official launch of the directory takes place at the Fort McMurray Tourism’s Spring Show & Market with copies available at the St. Aidan’s Society booth from April 29 to May 1. The agency will also be handing copies out at the Senior Wellness Expo at the Golden Years Society on May 17.

The directory will highlight businesses and resources in the region that offer discounts or incentives to seniors. It also has direct contact information to the Government of Canada and other services to make it easy for the senior population to access resources.

According to the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo’s 2015 census, statistics indicated there are 7,529 residents aged 55+ living in the region. Grandison explained how our aging population plays an important role to our community.

“People don’t often think about aging until they are faced with the challenges that come with an aging family member,” she said. “We are all aging and our needs will vary as we move into older adults. With this phase of life, there are services and programs that are needed to continue making life happy, safe and healthy for seniors.”

The agency further explained how acknowledging seniors’ contributions to every life creates a more age-inclusive society and they hope to help create and maintain this importance to all residents through the monthly publication.

“As an agency, we hold dear the fundamental belief in the rights of all individuals and a need to protect the rights of older persons to lead dignified lives as equal and essential members of society,” Grandison continued.

“Seniors have an incredibly important role to play in our community and, of course, society in general. The degree to which we are willing to recognize their wisdom and experience will have long standing impacts for us.”

Residents can further obtain a copy of the seniors’ directory by contacting Heather Landeen at the St. Aidan’s Society at 780-743-4370 Ext. 1 or by emailing her at heatherl@staidansociety.ca. The Connections newsletter will also be made available online at www.staidansociety.ca

-Connect Weekly-