Seniors at the Centre
Training provided with the support of Law Foundation of Ontario
Community Service Partnerships (CSP), part of the City of Toronto provides support to Toronto’s not-for-profit community organizations to deliver on their mission. Within this context, the Hispanic Development Council (HDC) is able to offer relevant services that respond to the always changing needs of the Spanish speaking community and contribute to the strengthening of the City’s well-being.
The goal of this program is to explore topics, connections and intersections relating to the Latino Hispanic senior population and how agencies and community based individuals or groups can join in supporting and building resilience amongst this population. The original idea remains, however, following further conversations, additional research and the creation of a working group, today we find ourselves designing and building an overall plan to meet some of the most important elements of a comprehensive strategy to deal with this no doubt a large challenge for our times.
Our current work includes four sub areas of attention over a period of time which is three to five years range starting in 2018 and includes a broad spectrum of participants such as NGOs, senior leaders, individual experts, and trusted community intermediaries. From among the work to be done, the responsibility of agencies and communities trust in them is outlined in accordance with conversations and consultations with key community stakeholders. The current work group includes some twenty representatives of agencies, stakeholders and senior leaders.
Of the many thoughts presented in conversations, circles of trust, we found there are specific goals and aspirations such as having at least one physical space dedicated to Latino Hispanic Long Term Care for Seniors; An integrated intake for Spanish speaking clients; Education and counselling support for seniors and their families; a Spanish speaking volunteer program to support those in residence; A centralized research and information data base to deal with monitoring and evaluation of access and needs; and among several other requirements we shall be looking at a community based fundraising strategy.
To accomplish this work, we also have support from other community stakeholders to assist us in building data gathering tools, research, and pertinent information from other jurisdictions with experience in the field such academics. We are hopeful that with such resources we shall be able to advance different components of this complex challenge.
The agency’s role in supporting work with seniors. A foundational element arose within this topic from very early on: “Agencies must accept a degree of ownership of the reality of seniors”. This is an important element because within agencies we have known for long time that agencies in their mandates respond to this socially produced expectation. However, within our Spanish speaking community now there are strong indications that community members expect more than in the past among the senior population, and our population in general. In reality, the overall problems of seniors are responsibility for all.
• Measuring opportunities for agencies serving seniors and demonstration of their role
• Assessing the issues and projections into the future to prepare the community
• Preparing an alternative planning agenda for participation in problem solving
• Measuring the resources required to support long term initiatives
• Promoting regional integration and policy public/community