What seniors told us - Milton

Communication and Information

  1. The Seniors’ Centre provides a good source of information. Churches, Halton Seniors’ Directory, and Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) provide information for health and support needs.
  2. Newspapers, TV and computers are an important source of information for diverse seniors if it is in their own language and accessible.
  3. Seniors rely on newspapers for information but circulation, delivery and content are concerns (Champion and Compass).
“The Champion no longer is delivered anywhere in the rural area including Campbellville, they never delivered north of 15 Sideroad”

“The Compass comes out once a week, but the delivery is sporadic”
“there is a lot of information on the Town website but not all are computer literate”

Housing

  1. Seniors express concern about growth and intensification with words such as: crammed, distressed and loss of community.
  2. Little affordable housing (one new Regional apartment building, 80 units ready soon).
  3. Little choice in suitable housing for seniors - e.g., lack of single floor bungalows; lack of accessible and walkable neighbourhoods with a mix of housing types.
  4. When seniors in rural areas can no longer drive, they may have to leave Milton to find affordable and suitable housing.
  5. Homes are costly to maintain on fixed incomes. Seniors may need support services to stay in their own homes.
  6. Transitions in housing are difficult for seniors.
“Have had to move from home to a retirement home due to health problems, feel stuck. Services expensive.”
“I think we lost something when we stopped building communities and started building off shoots out in the outskirts everywhere. In Atlanta they had a project where they built everything around a city centre; they had all the stores, the library and only homes that were within walking distance of that city centre.”
“They(community agencies) encourage us to stay in our homes and we stay there probably a little too long and then go to Martindale, we are not there very long and then you have to go on.
I would like to see a facility where you have your residential and then go over to the other are - (so you) do not have to move again.”
“There are very few senior buildings in Milton that are senior friendly and have access services under one roof. Almost like a transitional seniors' apartment where they can go to an area for meals, or a housekeeping service or a connection to a life line. To bring one stop shopping under one roof.”

Outdoor Spaces and Buildings

  1. Because other growth in Milton, seniors are concerned about increased traffic, insufficient pedestrian crossings, crossing light times that are too short and pedestrian right of way on streets and in large parking lots.
  2. Public areas and spaces are important to seniors especially Chinese seniors who are accustomed to parks with activities for all ages.
  3. Seniors need more places to sit when shopping and outside/inside larger stores like Walmart, grocery stores, etc.
  4. Seniors need sidewalks that are level, in good repair and cleared of snow and other debris. Some sidewalks do not have drop down curbs for wheelchairs, walkers etc.
  5. Scooters and bike safety is a concern. Many seniors do not know/understand the regulations.
  6. Buildings downtown not accessible, especially restaurant washrooms.
“We moved into town from country 8 years ago. I love it, walk everywhere. Of course if you try to cross Ontario Street, you take your life in your hands.”
“… sometimes I use up all my energy and sometimes have to sit. Between Zellers and the Superstore and Winners and Shoppers, there are no areas to sit.”
“A lot of people walk on the street because not everyone clears their sidewalks - not safe”.
“… if you live where most the seniors in town live, there is no grocery store. The library is moving away.”
“Most parks are for kids (slides, swings). They want seniors’ activities for exercise (something to pull to stretch their arms or bicycles in the park).”

Transportation

  1. GO bus and drivers are very good.
  2. Seniors have difficulty using town bus routes due to frequency, connections (always at the GO station) and lack of understanding about scheduling.
  3. Many seniors find it difficult to get to seniors centres and to medical appointments. Some seniors cannot afford the bus and some do not know how to use the bus system.
  4. Many seniors find shopping and medical appointments are too far to walk. Red Cross, family, friends and businesses are filling the gap. Some stores pay for a bus to help with grocery shopping. Red Cross drives for appointments.
  5. Seniors worry about the possibility of losing their licenses and taking driver’s test.
  6. Some seniors are concerned about taxis - cost, reliability, the helpfulness of drivers and cleanliness.
  7. Driving in Milton is becoming increasingly difficult for some seniors because of increased traffic, and high speeds. Speed is particularly dangerous in rural areas.
“Friends and family help as needed on long drives”
“The ladies in my building take the bus to Metro. They send a bus to pick them up from these building to take them to the grocery store. That’s a wonderful service”.
“… there is nothing going directly to the seniors centre. You have to go to the GO station (first).”

Social Participation

  1. There are a lot of programs for seniors at the Seniors Centre, churches and library. There are fewer options for seniors in newer areas for meeting places and transportation?
  2. There is no library in rural areas but there is a new Community Centre set to open in Campbellville area.
  3. Places of worship provide volunteer visitors, group meetings and events.
  4. Poor vision, hearing and poor health may interfere with social activities.
  5. Supportive housing sites offer opportunities to socialize.
  6. Seniors of diverse backgrounds have their own groups and rely on their families. They need information in their languages.
“I think the church fills a void for services. The church provides socializing and group meetings, little events.”
“We need more activities/local programs in the village of Carlisle in the afternoons year round. Inter generational programs would be very welcome.”
“I think the seniors centre is all inclusive…”
“I wish they weren’t closing the library. They need to have a branch library… many seniors walk to that library...”
“… I am wondering about the James Snow Parkway folks, all the folks in those new condominiums that are stuck out there. Where do you go for a coffee? You have to drive… ”
“Some (seniors) want to go swimming but it is expensive.”

Respect and Social Inclusion

  1. Milton is friendly and generally respectful to seniors. Seniors are concerned about some services moving from the core area, e.g. library, grocery store.
  2. The Seniors Centre provides a sense of community.
  3. Diverse groups would like their cultures to be understood by others. They are used to more inter generational activities.
  4. Some would prefer use of “elder” to “senior”. Senior seems stereotypical.
  5. There is a need to help different generations understand each other more.
“We were encouraged to buy our own bags and now we go into the store and checkout no longer puts them (groceries) into the bag. “
“… but when my husband was ill I didn’t find the respect from the nurses, but I guess they are pressured and under a lot of strain …”

Civic Participation and Employment

  1. There are many volunteer opportunities.
  2. Caregiving, babysitting or jobs may prevent volunteering.
  3. Some consultation reports from the Town or Region can be difficult to understand.
  4. Seniors want to be involved in decision making.
  5. Councillors and MP’s are helpful.
  6. Work is not easy to find and is often minimum wage, part-time.
“… A year and a half ago, I retired early because of the fact that I had to look after my mother. I couldn’t do it all…”
“… (farm businesses) will take seniors. Lovely nice seasonal place you can work to your speed. Opportunities in the rural areas – you have to drive though.”

Community Support and Health Services

  1. Doctors’ offices, 211 and 311 provide good information
  2. At times a person in the health system needs an advocate. How do diverse groups manage? How do they manage a crisis?
  3. Community Care Access Centre is good but rules are rigid. There is not enough funding for services, so the individual has to pay for additional services.
  4. Veterans Affairs, Acclaim Health, Day Programs, Meals on Wheels, supportive housing are useful.
  5. Transitions occur because of health issues, and lack of support. There are scarce longterm care (LTC) beds, long waits, costly retirement homes, and a need for hospital expansion.
“There are more and more services available but at a cost”
“Seniors require … someone they can trust and someone who will respect their things. It takes a sensitive kind of person to deal with seniors and make them feel safe and secure.”
“The big problem is you have to take the first bed if you were on a crisis thing. You can even go to Etobicoke if there is a bed available. That’s not right for people living in Milton.”