If you weren’t born in Niagara-on-the-Lake, but now call it home, chances are you moved here because of the lifestyle, small-town community feel, fine weather, quaint village-like atmosphere, historic importance or any combination of similar reasons.
If you were born here, chances are you’ve seen myriad changes over the decades but despite it all, you love the place and maybe want to live out your days here.
No matter how you ended up in NOTL, we suspect it holds a special place in your heart.
As we all get a bit older and creakier, inevitably there will come a time when we might need to think about where and how we want to spend our future.
Well, there is no time like the present.
So, full marks to a group of volunteers from town who have taken it upon themselves to figuratively take the pulse of the community and try to determine what and how senior folks in NOTL might want to spend their later years.
This ad hoc committee includes Robert Bader, Al Bisback, Fran Boot, Cindy Grant, Bill Halpenny, Sandra Hardy, Terry Mactaggart, Sandra O’Connor, Tom Smith, Tim Taylor and Peggy Walker.
We commend them for their energy and their foresight in trying to determine the future needs and desires of residents of our community.
Rather than relying on anecdotal evidence or making assumptions based on conversations or perceptions regarding what sort of seniors housing is needed in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this group wants to have hard data and evidence.
To make that so, the group has engaged two prominent Canadian researchers, who happen to live in NOTL – Steve Ferley and Michael Ennamorato.
And together they are working with Niagara College’s School of Business, Prof. Nick Farnell and graduate students in the business analytics program to collect and analyze the results of a comprehensive online survey.
This professional approach to investigating the community’s needs should provide definitive insights into what NOTL seniors want.
The survey aims to gather information from residents 55-plus and once the data is collected and analyzed, this committee hopes to be able to move forward in a constructive way, with evidence-based knowledge of residents’ desires.
We’re not sure we’ve ever seen such a comprehensive, grassroots approach to such a communal undertaking.
No matter what the outcome – and until the survey is completed, no one really knows what housing options people want in NOTL as they age – we expect the process will be beyond reproach.
One key way we all can ensure that is to participate. Have everyone in your household 55 and up complete one of the online questionnaires over the coming weeks.
It is accessible via your smartphone by aiming its camera at a special QR code (a version of which appears on this page and in an advertisement elsewhere in the paper). As the ad outlines, if you don’t have a smartphone or are not tech-savvy, there are alternative ways to fill out the survey.
The important thing is to let your voice be heard. Think about what your needs are now and over the next five to 10 years, and complete the survey. It is wholly anonymous and will be available until early January, so there is lots of time to ponder your options.
We encourage everyone to take 15 minutes and take part.