Seeking Seniors’ Input on Accessible Community Spaces

Recreational needs might change when you get older, but they don’t disappear. We talked with a great group of LGBTQ folks over the age of 50 on August 15 who shared their opinions on how to make space accessible for everyone–big thanks to the Senior Pride Network for their help! We heard about the importance of accessible change room design, the need for inter-generational programming and the benefits of public gathering spaces for seniors who live alone.

August 15 LGBT 50+ seniors“When I use athletic facilities, I find it can be intimidating and it makes it difficult for me to work out as we seniors tend not to be as intense with our work outs,” one participant shared. Other participants offered solutions to this issue, from seniors-only hours to buddy programs in which older and younger gym users are paired together so they can work out and help each other when needed. Creating space and programming that works for everybody isn’t easy, but it’s achievable when we listen to input from service users themselves.

This session is part of an ongoing conversation we’re having with older adults. In recent weeks, we’ve talked with local long-term care homes, advocacy groups like the Alzheimer’s Society and City of Toronto staff responsible for Toronto’s Senior Strategy. Over 50 per cent of seniors in the Moss Park neighbourhood live alone–a level twice the City’s average–and the social and recreational needs of seniors in the Moss Park area has come up throughout the consultation process.

We are continuing these conversations this week by bringing together over forty seniors advocates, policy makers and service providers to hear their insights. It’s part of a dedicated effort throughout this public consultation to hear from seniors in the area, and from those with experience in building and advocating for supportive, healthy communities. Stay tuned!