Stickney shines the ‘Spotlight on Seniors’

by | Jun 23, 2024

MLA sets up local sessions to help get information to aging NBers

It’s well known that New Brunswick has an aging problem—there are more seniors per capita in our province than anywhere else in Canada.

This fact was behind Carleton-Victoria MLA Margaret Johnson and her Constituency Office Assistant, Jane MacDonald, developing a public information seminar called “Spotlight on Seniors.”

Johnson shared that the idea was prompted by the federal Super Clinic program held in Woodstock during income tax season.

“I realized there were a lot of programs available that people, especially seniors, weren’t using,” she explained.

Johnson said that besides not knowing what programs are available, accessibility is a problem for many seniors, especially those in rural areas or for whom transportation is an issue. She decided to create a program that could be held in various locations around the province, allowing more seniors to access the information sessions.

So far, five sessions have been held throughout Johnson’s riding. The format is casual and designed to make people comfortable asking questions.  Johnson reports said she’s had positive feedback about the program, and news of its success is getting out.

“The Stickney Senior Group reached out to us and said they would like to host a session,” said Johnson, who then made it happen.

Sue McLaughlin, from Nursing Homes Without Walls, was one of the presenters at the latest meeting. She spoke highly of the program, calling it a “marvellous event.” She said the Stickney session was her third time presenting and credited Johnson for developing the program.

“I really appreciate what Margaret has done bringing this together. [The events] are well organized and attended and a great source of information.”

Jenna Thibodeau and Jennifer Estey were tqo of the presenters at the Spotlight on Seniors event. They attended on behalf of Social Development. (Sandra Hanson photo)

The ‘Spotlight on Seniors’ event, led by Johnson, provided information on a range of services. Attendees had the opportunity to interact with seven different agencies and service providers, including Social Development, Service Canada, Public Health, a pharmacist, Nursing Homes Without Walls, the Western Valley Regional Service Commission, and Lifeline. These presentations provided a wealth of information. Information packets were also provided for all attendees.

Johnson stressed the importance of looking after our aging population.

“These are the people who have paid their taxes for years, who volunteered and made their communities as vibrant as they are. They’re vital. The least we can do is give back to them,” she said.

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