Directory of senior services extensive

Heather Latter

Those attending a “seniors’ fair” at the Sister Kennedy Centre here Friday not only received plenty of excellent information from the local speakers, they also took home the 2015 Directory of Senior Services for Fort Frances and area.
“If you are looking for any services whatsoever, they should be in this book,” noted Fort Frances Coun. June Caul, who offered some welcoming remarks for the event.
She said Irene Laing, who sits on the Sister Kennedy Centre board of directors, worked tirelessly to complete the directory, which was produced by the centre through a grant from the Ontario Seniors Secretariat.
“It’s being provided at no cost to seniors in the area and to agencies that deal with seniors,” explained Laing, adding she began gathering the information for the directory back in March.
Laing noted some agencies gave her their pamphlets while she incorporated information from other directories.
“Then I went back and forth to make sure the information was correct and edited it,” she said.
The information provided is extensive, ranging from health and wellness to transportation, financial assistance, active living, and other services.
While it was a lot of work, Laing said she enjoyed taking the project on.
“I tried to find information that seniors would need,” she remarked.
“Sometimes I expanded upon the information; sometimes it is just the name and phone number.
“I really hope seniors will find it handy,” Laing added, noting she’s been using it at home herself.
“I hope it will be viewed as a helpful tool for seniors who are seeking assistance and services to meet their individual needs,” she said.
But Laing also admitted there’s no doubt they have missed some information.
“[We] would be very grateful if that was brought to our attention so that it can be included in the event that the directory is updated or another directory is published,” she urged.
Any senior who didn’t receive a copy of the directory, and would like one, can pick it up at the Sister Kennedy Centre.
Meanwhile, Laing noted the “seniors’ fair” itself was quite successful.
“The evaluations all came in very positive,” she enthused.
“I can’t wait for the next one,” wrote one participant.
“Thank you for an informative and enjoyable day—good information, good food and it was lovely to see such active participation,” echoed another.
The event began at 9 a.m. with people enjoying coffee, muffins, and fruit, as well as viewing some of the displays set up.
After a quick welcome from Coun. Caul and Mayor Roy Avis, the first of four speakers took to the podium.
Pharmacist Edwin Bruyere spoke about seniors and medication, followed by Clare Brunetta, who offered information regarding wills, estate planning, and power of attorney.
Trisha Wilson then gave a presentation on seniors and mental health while Krista Anderson wrapped up the day with a talk on nutrition for seniors.
“Everyone seemed to really enjoy the presentations,” said Laing. “There are areas of concern for seniors, and it’s nice to have an expert come in and address the concerns.
“It more than met my expectations,” she admitted, adding she also was pleased with the turn-out.
With participants asked to register in advance, they had 120 people sign up. And while not all attended, other people showed up.
“We didn’t want to turn anyone away and we were able to accommodate everyone,” Laing said.
Laing expects the Sister Kennedy Centre to host another “seniors’ fair” down the road, although they might make some changes.
“We learned a few things that could make it a bit better,” she conceded, noting it’s also nice to change things up so people don’t get bored with the same thing.
“But overall, I’m thrilled with how it went,” Laing said.