The Weekly Advertiser

Horsham resident Bob McIlvena calls for activity centre for aged

Long-time Horsham resident and regional water-supply-history expert Bob McIlvena believes Horsham needs a new dedicated activities centre for the municipality’s elderly residents.
Mr McIlvena has been in touch with regional media outlets, including The Weekly Advertiser, putting forward his case.
Here is a letter outlining his point of view –

Bob McIlvena.

Bob McIlvena.

SIR, – I am 83, a fifth-generation member of my family to have lived in Horsham district – the first being Robert McIlvena who arrived in 1854.
I was employed in retail and public-service areas in Horsham before retirement in 1993.
I have served in voluntary capacity as Horsham Historical Society president and am now entering my fourth year as president of Horsham University of the Third Age, U3A.
At U3A we have 300 members aged between 60 and 90 and these members provide 115 separate classes a month.
Our main operational areas are at the 139-year-old Horsham Railway Station where, due to limited space and building depreciation, we are forced to use other outside venues.
This fragmentation of our classes adds to management difficulties to retain group unity and loyalty. While we pay specialist tutors, executive committee members and other tutors receive no remuneration.
During my retirement I have become aware of the increase in the numbers of our older generation, their preference to remain in the general community and their desire to continue to participate in some form of activity, entertainment or educational endeavor.
I am greatly concerned we are not doing enough to help them. I am concerned, that in my history there has been a distinct lack of any consistent improvement of any consequence in the provision of appropriate facilities for the Wimmera’s older generation. This is the generation that lived through wars, depressions, floods and droughts – the generation that contributed to the growth and prosperity of Horsham district who are now witness to facility improvements for younger age groups.
I suggest there is already a hidden population of elders in our community suffering from minimal human contact and are unaware of available options to improve their lives.
I have no doubt that if a person-centred facility with appropriate programs was available, the number of seniors attending various groups would double.
I also suggest we should consider such a centre, with extensive surrounds and car parking, a priority project, and work to obtain government support.
I am familiar with governance constraints authorities have to work with, but I believe there is an opportunity for Horsham to become a Victorian leader by proof of respect and caring for the seniors who contributed to the development of the town we enjoy today.
Bob McIlvena

The entire May 16, 2018 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

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Posted on May 16 2018

Posted by on May 16 2018. Filed under Community, Health & Lifestyle, News, To The Editor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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