Seniors Services Consultation

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The City of Medicine Hat has started the community consultation process around seniors services in an effort to better serve our community’s growing seniors’ population.

Staff were directed by City Council, in August 2016, to examine alternative operating models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project. The annual cost of operating the Veiner and Strathcona Centres is $1.42 million.

This community consultation process will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way which reduces the need for contribution from the tax base.

Once the community consultation is complete, staff will evaluate the feedback, explore alternative operating models, and subsequently bring a recommendation forward to Council in the spring of 2020.

For more information, visit www.medicinehat.ca/seniors.

The City of Medicine Hat has started the community consultation process around seniors services in an effort to better serve our community’s growing seniors’ population.

Staff were directed by City Council, in August 2016, to examine alternative operating models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project. The annual cost of operating the Veiner and Strathcona Centres is $1.42 million.

This community consultation process will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way which reduces the need for contribution from the tax base.

Once the community consultation is complete, staff will evaluate the feedback, explore alternative operating models, and subsequently bring a recommendation forward to Council in the spring of 2020.

For more information, visit www.medicinehat.ca/seniors.

  • Online Survey Launches as Part of Seniors Services Consultation

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    5 months ago

    Medicine Hat – As part of the community consultation on seniors services, an online survey has been created to help residents share their thoughts and input on the services and programs the City currently offers.

    The online survey is collecting data based on activities, barriers and challenges, and overall satisfaction with the programming available.

    The community consultation process began earlier this month and has included several engagement activities around the City, and an online forum.

    “We have been hearing from people of all ages, from under 50 to over 80,” said Manager of Community Connections and Support, Aaron Nelson. “Seniors...

    Medicine Hat – As part of the community consultation on seniors services, an online survey has been created to help residents share their thoughts and input on the services and programs the City currently offers.

    The online survey is collecting data based on activities, barriers and challenges, and overall satisfaction with the programming available.

    The community consultation process began earlier this month and has included several engagement activities around the City, and an online forum.

    “We have been hearing from people of all ages, from under 50 to over 80,” said Manager of Community Connections and Support, Aaron Nelson. “Seniors are a diverse group with shifting needs and priorities. Services and programming must evolve with their changing needs.”

    A second drop-in community consultation session is scheduled for Tuesday, December 17, at the Medicine Hat Public Library from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

    The public is also encouraged to stop by the community booths, located at the Medicine Hat Public Library and the Family Leisure Centre. Feedback is open until December 23.

    “We want everyone to feel like they’ve had a chance to share their ideas throughout this process, whether that’s by joining in the discussion at a community session, or taking the survey online,” said Nelson.

    The survey and online forum are open until January 2, 2019.


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    For media inquiries, please contact:

    Aaron Nelson
    Manager, Community Connections and Support
    City of Medicine Hat
    403.502.8785


    Originally published on December 17, 2019.
  • Community Consultation on Seniors Services Underway

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    6 months ago
    Medicine Hat – In an effort to better serve our community’s growing seniors’ population, the City of Medicine Hat has started a community consultation process around seniors services.

    In August 2016, staff were directed by City Council to examine alternative operating models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project.

    The annual cost of operating the Veiner and Strathcona Centres is $1.42 million. This community consultation process will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services,...

    Medicine Hat – In an effort to better serve our community’s growing seniors’ population, the City of Medicine Hat has started a community consultation process around seniors services.

    In August 2016, staff were directed by City Council to examine alternative operating models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project.

    The annual cost of operating the Veiner and Strathcona Centres is $1.42 million. This community consultation process will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way which reduces the need for contribution from the tax base.

    Throughout the month of December, residents will have several opportunities to share their thoughts, ideas and opinions, through several engagement activities around the community, an online forum (medicinehat.ca/ShapeYourCity), and a survey. Two community consultation sessions have also been scheduled:

    •December 12 – Veiner Centre from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
    •December 17 – Medicine Hat Public Library from 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

    Everyone is welcome to attend.

    “Our goal throughout this process is to be able to shape our service offering to serve more seniors within our community,” said Aaron Nelson, Manager of Community Connections and Support. “In order to do that, we need to sit down with the community to better understand what the needs are.”

    Once the community consultation is complete, staff will evaluate the feedback, explore alternative operating models, and subsequently bring a recommendation forward to Council in the spring of 2020.

    “We’re going to listen, learn and use the feedback we receive from the community,” said Brian Mastel, Commissioner of Public Services. “Together, we will determine the programming and services that best serve this growing part of our community.”

    For more information and to participate in the online forum and survey, visit www.medicinehat.ca/ShapeYourCity.

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    For media inquiries, please contact:
    Aaron Nelson
    Manager, Community Connections and Support
    City of Medicine Hat
    403.502.8785

    Originally published on December 5, 2019.
  • City Seeking to Improve Senior Services, Reduce Budget Requirement

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    6 months ago

    Medicine Hat – City of Medicine Hat administration is looking to gather information and further explore how to better serve our community’s growing seniors population, promoting both community vibrancy and financial sustainability.

    In August 2016, staff were directed by City Council to examine alternative models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project. The planned work will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way that reduces the need for contribution from the...

    Medicine Hat – City of Medicine Hat administration is looking to gather information and further explore how to better serve our community’s growing seniors population, promoting both community vibrancy and financial sustainability.

    In August 2016, staff were directed by City Council to examine alternative models, along with associated operating costs, as part of the Seniors Centre Development Project. The planned work will help improve the selection and quality of programming offered and determine if an alternate governance and operating model is better positioned to deliver services, and do so in a way that reduces the need for contribution from the tax base.

    “Staff have already begun compiling information from across the province,” said Brian Mastel, Public Services Commissioner. “Medicine Hat is the only municipality in the province operating its own facility. We’ve learned that alternative models may have access to additional revenue streams and be better able to capitalize on partnerships with social agencies and private businesses. This flexibility and nimbleness allows them to offer a wider variety of programs, services and workshops – anything from cooking classes to wellness sessions to seminars on legal or financial matters.”

    The annual cost of operating the Veiner and Strathcona Centres is $1.42 million. Considering an alternative operating model will help ensure taxpayer dollars are managed prudently, Mastel said. The City is facing increased financial pressure on a number of fronts, and reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of services and operating models is a key component of the City’s Financially Fit initiative.

    A presentation will occur at the Public Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, October 1, highlighting recommendations to:

    • expand service offerings,
    • consult with community members to identify what services are best suited to the needs of current and future seniors,
    • explore whether another operator is better able to deliver services.


    More than one-third of all City residents are over the age of 50. In 25 years, seniors will make up half of the city’s population.

    “We want the public to be involved in this process as much as possible,” Mastel added. “We know the senior population in our city is diverse and is continuing to grow. We need to ask current and future seniors what services they would like to see so our seniors and our operations can thrive for years into the future.”

    The proposed timeline would see community consultation in the fall, exploration and evaluation of alternative models over the winter and a recommendation brought forward to Council in the spring of 2020.

    Click here to view the Public Services Committee meeting agenda.

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    For media inquiries, please contact:

    Ashley Wiebe
    Communications Officer
    City of Medicine Hat
    403.529.8296

    Backgrounder – Quick Facts

    • According to the 2016 federal census, Medicine Hat has 25,795 seniors (50+ years old), which is approximately 38 per cent of the community.
    • Demographic forecasts over the next 25 years show the 50+ age category growing to comprise roughly 50 per cent of the City’s population.
    • The Seniors Centre (Veiner and Strathcona centres) has 1,087 paid members, or 4.2 per cent of the 50+ population. Membership is declining.
    • Medicine Hat is the only comparable municipality providing direct governance and operations of a Seniors Centre.
    • The direct annual operating cost of the Seniors Centre is $1.42M or $1,306/member.
    • Funding for the Seniors Centre comes primarily from taxes ($376K) and Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) funding ($598K).
    • 37 per cent of all FCSS funding available in Medicine Hat is used to operate the Seniors Centre. FCSS funding is 80 per cent provincial funds and 20 per cent municipal funds.
    • An $11.6M capital investment was made in the recently expanded Seniors Centre facility.

    Originally published on September 27, 2019.