Helen MacDonnell, executive director of Community Links, addressed the event just before the lunch break on September 25 in Louisdale.

LOUISDALE: Seniors groups and stakeholders around the province came together to find out about the services provided by various agencies.

On September 25, “Seniors Issues Matter” was held at the former parish hall in Louisdale.

The event was planned as one of the regular “We Care Days” offered in Louisdale on a monthly basis by the Fleur-de-Lis Seniors Club.

Debbie Samson, lead organizer for We Care Days, said the event was borne from confusion among members of the Seniors Take Action Coalition about which groups in the province work for seniors, how they differ and how seniors can work together to achieve shared goals.

“We had some confusion about what organizations in the province are doing,” Samson explained. “We know there’s all these different organizations but we wanted to clarify for us, who does what.”

To accomplish this, Samson said they invited representatives from each of the major seniors groups to host panel discussions. Participants heard about the different organizations and initiatives underway in the province that focus on seniors’ issues and improving the lives of Nova Scotia’s older population.

Photo by Jake Boudrot — Don Fitzpatrick from the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia was at “Seniors Issues Matter” on September 25 in Louisdale.

Among those in attendance was Bill Berryman, with Seniors Advisory Council of Nova Scotia, who also recommended Simon d’Entremont, Deputy Minister of the Department of Seniors.

The morning program featured a facilitated panel of discussion with representatives from Community Links, the Federation of Senior Citizens and Pensioners of Nova Scotia, Caregivers Nova Scotia Association, and the Seniors Advisory Council of Nova Scotia.

Of the 125 people who registered were attendees from Inverness County, Port Hawkesbury, as well as Richmond County.

Aside from panelists, Samson said a new promotional video commissioned by the coalition and inviting seniors to Richmond County called “We All Live Here” was aired at the event. Now that it is complete, the video will be streamed on the Municipality of the County of Richmond’s Web site.

The afternoon included an update on SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population, a discussion on “ageism” and priorities for the coming year.

“We’re hoping that people are going to get a lot out of what they are here for,” Samson noted.

Samson added that the Seniors Take Action Coalition wants to use the information provided at the meeting to help its members.

“Every seniors group will do with it as they choose,” Samson added. “The Seniors Take Action Coalition, we want to use that information so we know who to siphon our requests to.”

Photo by Nicole Fawcett — On September 25, “Seniors Issues Matter” was held at the hall in Louisdale to let those representing seniors group know which organizations and government departments to approach for assistance.