Tag: Seniors

‘It’s really tough to get any kind of physical activity’: Hamilton seniors respond to recreation closures

Gabe Szvoboda was a regular at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre before the pandemic.

The 71-year-old would play table tennis, badminton, and bridge, and take yoga and painting classes.

He went back when the centre reopened on Oct. 5 with limited numbers. One of the table tennis players made a weekly schedule so everyone knew which days they could play.

They had three tables set up across the gym with two players each, for a maximum of six at a time.

Edwin Chong, the 75-year-old who created the schedule, said people enjoyed playing again. “Especially for seniors, it’s really tough to get any kind of physical activity,” he said.

But when the city announced late Nov. 15 that many recreational programs would be cancelled once Hamilton entered the province’s “red zone,” some of the seniors were “disappointed.”

“It came very sudden, so there was no indication whatsoever this might come,” Szvoboda said. “We heard of the problem over the weekend and suddenly Monday we could not register anymore.”

The city cancelled all fall registered recreation programs, including swimming lessons, fitness programs, sports, and general interest programs. The city also cancelled gym, sport, and fitness drop-in programs including table tennis, pickleball, badminton, basketball, and other activities.

“I felt there was no reason to do it because private facilities are open,” Szvoboda said. “We adhere to the rules and regulations and the protocols that they set.”

The provincial measures for the red zone allow for gyms and fitness studios to have up to 10 people indoors and 25 outdoors, with sports and recreational programs in multiplexes restricted to 10 people per room indoors and 25 outdoors. Team sports are not allowed, except for training.

The results of a city survey released this week showed a drop in resident satisfaction for senior services.

Terry Quan, who’s 73 and another table tennis player, said the games were a way to stay active and connected.

“The wife and I are reluctant to go anywhere … We just end up staying home or I take the dog for a walk,” said Quan.



Maria Iqbal
Maria Iqbal’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative. The funding allows her to report on stories focused on aging issues. Reach her via email: [email protected]

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San Diego Housing Commission Earns Award For New Palace Hotel Seniors Project

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New Palace Hotel
Located in Bankers Hill, the New Palace Hotel was transformed into 79 affordable studio apartments by San Diego Housing Commission in partnership with a nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners. Photo courtesy of HDP.

The San Diego Housing Commission Tuesday earned an Award of Excellence from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for its work to turn a hotel property into housing for seniors.

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SDHC earned the award for its work rehabilitating the single-room occupancy property New Palace Hotel to provide permanent housing with supportive services for seniors who experienced homelessness or were at risk of homelessness.

“This national recognition reflects the San Diego Housing Commission’s outstanding work to provide affordable rental homes for vulnerable seniors in the city of San Diego,” said Richard Gentry, SDHC’s president and CEO. “I thank and congratulate Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council, who supported this rehabilitation, as well as our staff and the community organizations that worked with us to make this project possible.”

The NAHRO Awards of Excellence recognize “outstanding innovation and achievement in housing and community development programs throughout the country.” Nationwide, 21 programs or projects received NAHRO Awards of Excellence this year. NAHRO announced the awards  during its virtual 2020 National Conference.

Located in Bankers Hill, the New Palace Hotel was transformed into 79 affordable studio apartments by SDHC in partnership with a nonprofit affiliate, Housing Development Partners.

It was the first major renovation of New Palace in about 25 years and included energy-efficiency upgrades and the addition of kitchenettes in each unit, which also received new shower enclosures and bathroom fixtures and was furnished with a bed and dresser.

Residents of the renovated New Palace receive federal rental assistance from SDHC and have access to supportive services provided by the nonprofit organization Serving Seniors, which also operates the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center located three blocks from the property.

Supportive services and resources include healthcare, legal services, entitlement and retirement benefits assistance, transportation, community events, and one-on-one support.

New Palace also includes one unrestricted studio manager’s unit.

— City News Service

San Diego Housing Commission Earns Award For New Palace Hotel Seniors Project was last modified: November 17th, 2020 by Christine Huard

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