By Letter to the Editor on January 6, 2018.
Senior centres in Lethbridge are a valuable resource to our community. Some of the benefits of seniors participating in senior centre programs include an improved quality of life through activities that enhance social connectedness, a sense of accomplishment and physical and mental enrichment.
Recently a presentation was made to council by the leadership of Nord-Bridge regarding the equitable and appropriate funding of the two senior centres. The presentation resulted in council asking the Director of Community Services to review operations for the delivery of services and funding models for Lethbridge Senior Citizens Organization and Nord-Bridge Senior Citizen Organization.
This directed review presents a unique opportunity for citizen input to the issue. Here is my view.
Can Lethbridge afford to fund two independent senior centres? Is it not time to reorganize the delivery of services to our senior community?
There are duplications in leadership, administration and services in both senior centres. Would not one senior centre organization with multiple sites under the leadership of one board and one executive director result in some efficiencies in service and save administrative costs?
Amalgamating both organizations would stimulate synergies with the result that the whole could be greater than the two parts. Each site could retain their uniqueness while contributing their strengths to the new centre. Blending both existing organizations would also be the opportunity to effect a comprehensive review of the model needed to serve Lethbridge seniors in the future. I recognize that blending both senior centre organizations would be a challenge. History, organizational culture and addressing the human side of the fusion need to be factored into the equation.
Perhaps a phase of closer co-operation between both centres can be a prelude to the act of merging both senior centre organizations.
And as the late Joan Rivers often said: “Can we talk?”
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