Glenn Cunningham
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review of 2014 Seniors rights and plans for helping seniors

Updated Friday, January 2, 2015  ::  Views (1134)

2014 IS BEHIND US, AND THE VISION FOR 2015 IS EXCITING.

As we look forward to set our goals and objectives for 2015 it can not be done without a look back at what we have or have not accomplished in 2014.

A one word description of 2014 would be enlightening.

We are very excited about all that 2015 has in store for us.

We hope you have reflected on your last 12 months with the intent to make it a base to go forward from in 2015. We all suffer setbacks so we need to celebrate our wins and we need to be ready to accept our wins as a tribute to paying attention and keeping our mind open to change and challenge.

We wish you all much health, happiness and success in the next year.

Happy New Year and we look forward to our interaction.

2014 in review:

Our financial goals were not met but our future looks great because of the success we have seen with a fantastic program for our Senior clients and their families.

The year started off with an appreciation for taking the Accredited Senior Agent course and being inspired to work with the Boomer and Senior demographic.

After a lot of discussions Liz and I started talking to literally dozens of people and put together our network of specialists which is now known as “Making Our Seniors Matter”. Every member has been interviewed and have given us the confidence that we would recommend to have them work with our mothers, who by the way still give us direction.

We have and especially Liz has become involved with the Flower City Seniors center where she has taken her newsletter now known as “ABUZZ”, from a 1 page color issue of 250 copies to what is now a 4 page, high quality full color production of 1000 copies distributed. Many through the Brampton Senior Citizens Council, which is the umbrella for the 55 + seniors clubs in Brampton.

We have become not only sponsors for our local CARP chapter but also members of the board of directors for the chapter. This sponsorship gives us the opportunity to have a table at every monthly meeting and special event of the chapter. We really enjoy the fact that the involvement is not work but time spent with good people we like.

An interesting side to all of this is that the other sponsors of our CARP chapter and those who now advertise in the newsletter are almost all members of “Making Our Seniors Matter. That’s important because it shows the common interest in working with this demographic and the continuum of support around our group. And as the group has become a membership, many of the members who sponsor events fly their “Making Our Seniors Matter” banner as proud members.

Through at least the beginning of the year both Liz and I where very interested in the success of the Master ASA program, Liz had a desire to teach as she seen the value. She organized a winter retreat in Muskoka and was tremendously supportive of group initiatives. I wanted to share all we had learn but we found our interest level was so involving with our group of specialists, our interaction in the community, with the seniors clubs, the residences and the other professionals so intense, we were outside the interest of the Masters and we began to focus more on our own development.

However some members of the Masters brought us to very enlightening places. Gina Bury arranged a magnificent tour and meeting with Dr. Joseph Wong of the Yee Hong Geriatric Care Centre. This amazing individual is the leading authority on senior housing care.

Barry Lebow arranged for a tour of the Baycrest Hospital with a mini presentation on “rethinking brain health”. It was a real treat. This old Jewish hospital and seniors home has such a wonderful history and is a world leader in brain care, which of course includes Alzheimer’s and currently is working with the NHL players with concussions. 

Over the course of the year “Making Our Seniors Matter” had 5 breakfast meetings which include the initial one in February where much time was spent getting to know each other and it was

Sponsored by Home Equity Bank, with Roland Mackintosh speaking on the CHIP reverse mortgage option,

April was sponsored by Cooper and CO. where Scott Terrio spoke on seniors and debt and possible solutions

May was sponsored by Andrews Community Funeral Centre with Diana Webster on the many areas of value for preplanning your final arrangements.

September was very interesting it was where we really developed “Making Our Seniors Matter” as an organized entity with a vision and mission. The guest speaker that month was Terry Miller on the workings of the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network)

November was exciting as we unveiled an opportunity to have “Making Our Seniors Matter” the core information and contributing sponsors for a new 3 part series on Healthy Aging with WOW TV. At the same time we introduced a lot of information from the GEM nursing team at the Brampton Civic Hospital and the community based arm of that team as well. The combination of the 2 subjects will bring an exciting element to the GEM fundraiser in June where some of the 3 part series will be taped as Making Our Seniors Matter will be helping the GEM nurses and CARP Chapter 52 organize that fundraiser this year.

June was full of events,

Fundraiser for Brampton’s Civic Hospital Geriatric Emergency Management nursing team.

The City of Brampton’s Spring fest, a celebration for our Seniors Clubs.

We were invited to celebrate with Southbrook Retirement residence on their 25th anniversary.

We attended a function at Leisureworld’s Tullimore facility, an evening of getting to know more about the people who manage and give care in the facility.

We attended Peel Manor residence, where there was an introduction of community services.

Liz attended a 2 day Summit on Aging through the Sheridan College BA:IEN and heard from experts in the field from around the world.

One can always use a break so in mid June with a group of fellow CARP members we went on a wine tour to the Niagara region.

The groundbreaking celebration for Brampton’s 2nd hospital was on June 25th which lead us to more conversations and becoming more involved with our hospital community

It was about this time that we realized that the business profile we had developed into was completely different then we had previously seen 6 short months earlier. It became evident that an important element of the business was the consultation services, not just the consultation as a REALTOR®

Liz through the city of Brampton took the initiative to get involved with their Business essentials course, as well as a Gerontology course at Humber College. And if that isn’t enough she also managed to get herself involved with Age Friendly Business, the providers of a number of exceptional courses, one being the CPCA, Certified Professional Consultant on Aging. (No wonder she thinks her brain is in overload). A designation she now proudly holds.

From all of this came “Blue Willow Consulting for Senior’s”. Blue Willow Consulting is a resource for Seniors whether they want to stay in their current home or move. This service has the resources of reliable and trustworthy providers to fit the need from homecare to house safety to financing and planning.

We developed Real Estate Designed for Seniors. A program that we developed for My Real Estate business giving a specific program to work with Boomers and/or their parents when late in life transitions are either a choice or necessity. We have found that with our network “Making Our Seniors Matter”, we have the right folks to help not only those wanting to downsize, but also those who might want to move to their ideal retirement abode, maybe a cottage type property or an adult lifestyle community in or out of town, a condo or maybe the new co-housing option. It may be a residence or maybe even a home with more care, but we have the experienced help for the family. It also fits for those who are in a position as an Executor of an estate and want the experience and support we give when dealing with many aspects of that Estate.

In September and October I organized presentations for housing options for our CARP Chapter meetings. The Solterra Co-housing option was one topic, and Alan Parsons manager, development services for the City of Brampton gave an update on what is on the horizon for senior housing.

In October we discussed alterations to current homes to make them safe with Lindsey and Tracy Croft of the Home updaters, again members of “Making Our Seniors Matter”. Another member Maria Wood of ADAPT home care talk about some of the items that can help with mobility.

Also in October we would again participate in the Flower City Seniors Information fair at the FCC.

October was the anniversary of the idea that Liz and I would take this particular road. It was time to review the value of all we had experienced. Time to decide which projects were meaningful to us, and what items fit our core values and vision.

In November Liz attended the 8 to 80 conference in Toronto which again was more information on building age friendly communities.

During November/December I did manage to attain my CPCA designation as well, we will be working with Age Friendly business in helping to distribute the concept of making business’s more available to and service friendly to the senior market. This is currently under developed and AFB has fantastic programming for the upcoming boomer aging market.

December seen us with our most successful real estate month for “Real Estate Designed for Seniors” as we helped some of our clients get closer to the next chapter in their lives we became  involved with several others. We had the good fortune to assist the newest of our senior residences (Bramalea Retirement Residence) to do a brunch for potential residents and this gave us an opportunity to meet these folks, and let them know that a service like ours is available to them. Our service is so unique and special that many Realtor’s truly believe they give a similar service, It is simply not the case and some astute marketing managers and Executive directors of seniors residences are recognizing that fact.

So what is on the horizon for 2015 

Our core Pillars of business will remain as before but there will be a concerted effort to make;

“Real Estate Designed for Seniors” a locally recognized brand to fit Boomers and Seniors.

Building a confidence that we are the “ go to” service for retirement property of any kind, near and far. Including downsizing and rightsizing for the family, or a loved one.

The traditional Real Estate will focus on:

Time spent on our past clients, many of which are in that Boomer generation.

Having these past clients confident that folks they care about will be best served by us.

My business has always experienced a lot of referral business from out of town REALTORS®.

I will be spending time rekindling old acquaintances and building new ones.

and

Keeping our mind open to see opportunities that arise from these pillars.

“Making Our Seniors Matter” will remain a primary avenue to work with other professionals, as partners, as supporters, as cooperative initiatives and so much more. It will become an entity known for compassion and success in helping our most vulnerable. We will continue to promote it and its members to all community based groups so that it will become respected by community based care services such as CCAC the hospital and social groups.

All of this will be packaged with support and inspiration of “Blue Willow Consulting for Seniors” which on its own will promote the services of those involved with “Making Our Seniors Matter” and other community stake holders.  We will also be continuing the service we provide to the seniors residences of all types when helping their clients make transitions that are safe and secure.

There will be the initiation of Age Friendly Business programs for local business and for professionals we feel will benefit from these terrific opportunities. It will play a part in the 2015 agenda but at this time it is not determined if it will be a contributor or simply another resource.

And I think at this moment the 2 initiatives we are looking forward to for 2015 is the 3 part series with WOW TV and “Making Our Seniors Matter” on Healthy Aging and the other is definitely our participation with the GEM nurses fundraiser.

 

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