New initiative to help break senior isolation

Image of Nick Seebruch
By Nick Seebruch
New initiative to help break senior isolation
An example of a trishaw.

CORNWALL, Ontario – At their meeting on Monday, April 26 Cornwall City Council heard about a new initiative from the Senior Friendly Community Committee.

During their annual update to Council, committee representatives unveiled their plan to have a trishaw service for seniors this summer. A trishaw is a three-wheeled manpowered vehicle with a passenger cabin behind the driver.

“We want to tap the potential of Cornwall’s excellent bike path network to provide our aging and less mobile seniors with an interesting and invigorating opportunity to explore nature in areas of the city that might normally be inaccessible to many of them,” reads the committee’s notes on the Trishaw Project.

The committee explained that they envision this being an inter-generational opportunity, and have invited drivers of all ages to volunteer and drive a trishaw.

The Senior’s Committee received funding through the New Horizons program and worked with a local vendor to purchase a trishaw with the goal of launching the program in June, in time for Senior’s Month and will target isolated seniors.

“I’m so pleased, because it is such a positive program to bring to our community during these unprecedented times,” said Councillor Maurice Dupelle.

Councillor Carilyne Hébert explained that isolation was nothing new to seniors, and that they were not the only population affected by it.

“The issue of social isolation is so relevant now . . . and it reaches far beyond our seniors,” said Hébert. “I really love the inter-generational component here. Young people need those relationships just as much as seniors. I think there’s the opportunity there to link seniors with young people who are alone, and also isolated.”

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