Parking, second-floor location not favourable for most seniors

I am writing about my concerns regarding an article that appeared in the May 23 edition of the Stettler Independent, entitled

Dear Editor:

I am writing about my concerns regarding an article that appeared in the May 23 edition of the Stettler Independent, entitled “Rec Centre deemed best site for seniors.”

About three years ago, a delegation of seniors from the Stettler Seniors’ Drop-In Centre met with Town of Stettler council and at that time, they promised us a place for the seniors’ centre that would be on ground level and have good parking available to the seniors.

With their latest recommendation of Stettler Recreation Centre, I am wondering if this is a joke.

The meeting room they offered us is on the second floor and the closest parking to the meeting room is about 200 feet away in order to get to the room.

In March 2012, there were two forums held to meet with seniors, and I was present at both those meetings.

At the forum, I saw people there who do not live in Stettler and also others who have never attended the Stettler Seniors’ Drop-In Centre.

If this forum would have been held in Red Deer, you would have had the same result.

Also, a steering committee went out to rural Alberta to check on other senior citizens’ centres.

I doubt if they found any senior citizens’ centres on the second floor of a building and the closest parking being 200 feet away.

Most of the senior citizens that use Stettler Seniors’ Drop-In Centre are not 55-year-old people; most of us who utilize this drop-in centre are 75 years and older, with our oldest member 94 years old.

Consequently, many of us have difficulty walking 200 feet or more.

The recreation centre is a lovely facility, however, it is widely used and parking is not always close to the door, especially during hockey season.

During the winter months, this parking lot is also very icy and makes it very treacherous for seniors. Many of our activities are held in the evenings, so the parking lot can be congested.

If seniors are dropped off at the door, this might help alleviate some of the problems, but most seniors are driving themselves there.

I feel sorry for the seniors that have trouble walking and are going to lose their right to attend the seniors’ centre because of poor accessibility.

A concerned senior citizen,

Len Schofer,

Stettler