Aging together as community

To the Editor,

We would like to thank the 90 people who came out to support our three Aging Together As Community events in Wilberforce, Minden and Haliburton on June 22, 23 and 24. Each event was well attended and the energy within each group showed us that our community is indeed interested in exploring alternative living options as we age. The movie It Is Not Over Yet was very powerful and showed us the compassionate and personalized care that residents in Denmark received in a small 12 to 14 ‘home-like’ setting, supported by four staff. We have had a lot of positive feedback since. We will be sending out the key discussion points to all who attended and inviting those interested in moving forward (some have already indicated their interest) to attend a follow up meeting.
At the meetings, we stated how we became involved with Barnes Management Group (BMG) and the not-for-profit under them, Re:Think, which included its community engagement facilitator Dave Buwalda. (Please google them for more details.) We have received subsequent questions. In the autumn of 2021 David Barnes, a local cottager, approached our Haliburton Highlands LTC Coalition because he learned about our advocacy work locally and provincially.

We had numerous virtual meetings over six months to explore ways to partner with BMG around rethinking how we support our elders as they age and what could be possible in Haliburton County.
The culmination of those discussions was our collaboration with Dave from Re:Think, Tammy Rea, Those Other Movies, BMG and our LTC Coalition, to host Aging Together As Community discussions. We were also pleased to be asked by BMG to be a provincial pilot project for this initiative this past winter.
We would like to thank Stephen Petrick from The Echo for his coverage. Unfortunately, he did not interview our LTC Coalition. Here are a few points of clarification we would like to make from his article, Meeting, film screening, fosters thinking about a new model for long-term care, which was published on, June 28. Our Haliburton Highlands LTC Coalition were partners in organizing all of the events and also responsible for organizing the venues, fundraising, food, door prizes and all of the media. We are not a “splinter group” of the Haliburton-CKL Long-Term Care Coalition. We created our own group in March 2022 because the commitment and goals of the larger group had changed since our inception in 2019 and our Haliburton group was still strong and committed to work for change in LTC. Also, we want to clarify that we lobbied to end for-profit LTC homes (not private homes) and there are over 360 LTC for-profit homes in Ontario.
For more information contact or Bonnie Roe at 705-457-6579.

Submitted by Bonnie Roe, on behalf of Haliburton Highlands LTC Coalition