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Letter: Sudbury's seniors need more

We need other retirement communities like Finlandia
Sudbury needs another village similar to Finlandia to care for seniors at all levels of aging, says letter-writer Lillian Bede. (File)

In recent conversations with people of or nearing retirement age, it was apparent that Sudbury has a gap between a seniors’ community and retirement home. 
Greater Sudbury has a large aging population. There is a lot of talk about building new facilities that will be used by young families and youth, however, many of my peers believe we also need to be talking about additional facilities for our aging population? 

In talking with various people at or near retirement age, I learned that many of these people are wondering what their golden years options are in our community. Currently, the options are limited. From my research, there is only Finlandia Village in Greater Sudbury that offers the wide range of services and amenities found in many southern Ontario centres, and it is full to the max with an extended waiting list.  

Many of us would like to grow old in our community to remain near family and friends, however, we do not see any new developments being built to meet the needs of our community. Sudbury needs another village similar to Finlandia to care for seniors at all levels of aging that offers everything from apartments, condos, shared and supportive housing and long-term care offering a wide range of amenities, programs, services and activities. There could also be on-site or visiting health and dental care providers — the possibilities are endless.

There are some prime land sites in and around Greater Sudbury. Perhaps Glencore or Vale would be willing to part with land for such an endeavour. They have recently sold property for housing developments, therefore, there might also be an opportunity for land purchase for a retirement community.  

I am not a developer and would not know how to proceed with such a large project. However, Finlandia is a good model and there are many developers in southern Ontario that have created great retirement communities and might be interested in doing the same in our community if no one locally is able to take on such a large project. Perhaps the School of Architecture would be willing provide relevant services.  

I realize I have more questions than answers, however, I believe it’s important to raise awareness and have more conversations about our aging population.

There are several retirement living homes, however, they offer limited services and activities and seem to be geared more towards late retirement and declined activity. They do not have the amenities that relatively healthy, young in spirit and fully functioning seniors desire. Hence the need for another Finlandia-style village with a wide range of options.

It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of other people in our community re this topic.

Lillian Bede