Creating Safe and Welcoming Spaces for Seniors to Age in Place

Written by Lisa Hrabluk

Best-selling author. Award-winning journalist. Purpose-led entrepreneur. Find me hanging out where culture, people and ideas collide.

July 7, 2020

Hi Dad! Hi Mom! This episode’s for you, for me and for everyone who wants the best for the seniors we know and love in our communities.

As I write this my octogenarian parents are sheltering in place in their home, learning to order groceries online and to join Zoom calls, relying on the kindness of neighbours and their grandchildren to help out with errands, cleaning and sanitizing even more than before (honestly, I didn’t think the house could get any cleaner), and feeling a bit bored and restless after over three months of self-isolation.

Their experience is shared by thousands of people over the age of 65, a demographic that is redefining what it means to age. Overall, we are living longer, healthier lives thanks to medical innovations and better understanding of the role wellness, things such as nutrition, exercise, social connections, simple joys, contribute to enabling people to live longer, valuable lives.

These health changes are and will have an impact on where and how seniors live. So Aliana Lockhart and I are gathering with four amazing New Brunswick-based experts on Friday July 10th at noon AST on the Deep Change Happy Hour Facebook page for a live stream chat about how we create safe and welcoming spaces for seniors to age doing the things they love in the places they call home.

Jodi Hall is the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Association of Nursing Homes (NBANH). Hall currently serves as the President of Canadian Association of Long-Term Care and President of the NB Continuing Care Safety Association and Co-Chair of the Collaborative for Healthy Aging Care which works to create a shared conversation among stakeholders on the aging experience in New Brunswick. In the five years prior to becoming the Executive Director of NBANH, Hall was the Director of Operations. Jodi served as the Director of Education and Practice with the New Brunswick Licensed Practical Nurse Association and Administrator of Orchard View Long Term Care prior to beginning her work with the NBANH. Hall has a master’s degree in Health Studies with a major in Leadership from Athabasca University and a Bachelors degree in Adult Education from the University of New Brunswick. Additionally, Hall has a diploma in practical nursing.

Anita Punamiya wears multiple hats — she is an entrepreneur, a management consultant and an educator. As an entrepreneur, Anita has founded multiple businesses in Canada; she is the founder and CEO of CompreCultures Ltd. (2007) and Art4Life Inc. (2017) and co-founder of Shaping Purpose (2013).
Anita is also a part-time professor at University of New Brunswick (UNB), Saint John campus and teaches ‘Cross-Cultural Communications and Negotiations’ and ‘Social Entrepreneurship’ at the UNBSJ MBA program.
Anita loves creative activities and dabbles in various mediums: painting, stone and clay. She is an avid golfer and loves to travel.

April Richardson was welcomed to the Metepenagiag Health Center team as a Community Health Representative (CHR) in 2015. Following in her late aunty (Madeline Augustine) shoes’ as previous CHR, April’s duties require special interpersonal skill training. The Community Health Representative advocates for Elder’s, Youth, and the vulnerable various needs. Providing the latest information updates about all chronic diseases and sharing with community members is most important. Organizing workshops on a variety of topics such as Elders abuse, Diabetes, Heart & Stroke, Food, Income. April has written varies grants that have helped the community with Community Gardens and Meals on Wheels and Fresh 4 Less — Food Insecurity. In 2019 April successfully completed training as Children’s Oral Health Initiative (COHI) and helps community dental therapist on a weekly basis. April is passionate about her career working as Metepenagiag Community Health Representative, loves working with her health team. Loves her community and helping others. April wears many hats and has a big heart and will always be will to lend a helping hand.

Mika Solway is passionate about bringing sustainability to the masses. Mika has been working in the environmental sector for two decades and received her LEED Accreditation in 2007. She has primarily focused on embedding sustainability in large portfolios through energy and resource tracking, reductions, and building certifications — both LEED for Existing Buildings and BOMA Best. Mika is proud to have helped a Class A, thirty-story tower in Toronto achieve LEED Platinum Certification. She earned a Civil Engineering degree, with an environmental focus, from Queen’s University and a Masters Certificate in Organization Development from York University — Schulich School of Business. Having recently made the leap from Toronto to Fredericton, she is excited to bring her expertise to the green home building sector here in the Maritimes and produce valuable, absorbable content for the North American market as a whole.

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