Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - April 17, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta
4 'HE LETHBRIDGE HERALD April High-rise retirement Continued from Page 3 ing hall and are working on obtaining a pool table far the men. "We've had over 150 out to some functions, Mrs. Bruce said. "The men are a little hard- er to get out they're a bit shy at first.'1 None of the tennants I talked to seemed too worried about the homogeneous na- ture of the building's inhabi- tants, although an exten- sive survey conducted by the Senior Citizen Central Coun- cil of Calgary in 1972 indi- cated at least 46 per cent of some 1.000 people over 65 in- terviewed preferred to live in a neighborhood among both young acd old, while only two per cent said their pref- erence for living accommoda- tions was based on a desire to be with people their own age. However, a high-rise is a neighborhood of a different color, and the fact that ev- eryone in it share many of the same characteristics in- ducing age-range does something to enhance a community spirit. Novelty Then too, with relatives of all ages visiting, it's not as if the place was constantly devoid of anyone not old enough to recall the First World War, -Roaring 20's or the Dirty SO's firsthand. The juiMrng also still has a cer- ,ain novelty factor attracting visitors. Herb Lock, of the Calgary tietro politan Foundation jvhich administers nine sen- ior titans' homes on a sim- basis to the Green Foundation here, feels the novelty factor is stiH af- ecting the senior citizens themselves. "Right now they're so pleas- ed to get into better Inter- nal facilities, be says. In time, he suggests, there may be a double isolation, xnth from the community and nithin the building. He points to the physical nature of high-rises and this we's location to back this "It's me bad end of town. Fhey can't go out for a walk in the evening. "There's more urban rede- velopment coming, yes. But it is going to be office build- ings or government build- be no one down there in the evenings. It's going to be a very sterile IB Ate building, he feels, the community will extend enrj M far as the floor on tttch a. person lives. "It's a performance to he ear? have to dress up to go out, because you'll meet strang- ers in the elevator, if not in the hallway. It's not like stepping out your back door for a moment." Many of Calgary's senior citizens, Mr. Lock says, have moved into the cify from rural areas. "It's a generation that's not used to high-rises. In 20 years perhaps the pJc- ture will change, but the mes- sage we get today from the people at our lodges is don't build any more high-rises." But, according to Calgary Housing 'Authority admini- strator, Frank Betts, the top floors of the building filled up first. "Many people were sur- prised that they could have a suite on the top floor for the same rent as on the lower be said. "Of all the people we of- fered accommodation to, only one turned it down because it is a high-rise. "It's well-built it has everything a tenant of this age group would want." Mr. Betts said the Housing Authority looks after 23 pub- lic housing projects in Cal- gaxy, in a landlord capacity, and as such no extra provi- sions are made for the senior citizens' high-rise. Two ten- ant-relaJtions workers, who also work at a number of the other projects, serve the building, encouraging a self- help approach and referring the tenants to other social agencies when necessary. The Housing Authority took over administration of the building from the Metropoli- tan Foundation just three weeks before it opened after Calgary City Council decided it should come under public housing to provide lower rente. Some 200 senior citizens live in another downtown Cal- gary public housing high-rise built about three years ago. Although some families also live there, the majority tenants are senior citizens. The building wasn't design- ed specifically for them, bow- ever, and most want to move nto the new high-rise because of the facilities, Mr. Betts said. And finally, according to one impeccable source a local cabbie the senior citi- tens like their new quarters. "We drive a lot of mem around, and (hey love it there." "They're doae to downfowB, and the bus, and naif a Hock from the supermarket, and they have lots of recreation.'' drove whose grandmother fives in the bigltnee, she ton we, taring time fter life.'" Comforts and companionship Active senior Colgorians enjoy a comfortable visit among friends in lounge room. site choice spot More than 200 peop'e in Lethbridge are waiting to move into the senior citizens" apartment to be built at Sth Street and 6th Avenue. S.. it has been estimated. And while these people are on a number of unofficial waiting lists of people who want to move into that kind of housing, they really don't mean very much. The lists and surveys taken so far, established needs, not priorities, says Tony Tobin of the community services de- partment's preventive social service program. No official criteria ae to eligibility has yet been estab- lished, but one of the first jobs of the citizens informa- tion centre when it is set up at city hall later this spring will be to contact people on the current lists, and estab- lish an official watting list, Mr. Tobin says. An interim advisory com- mittee on senior citizen bow- ing comprised entirely of sen- ior citizens, likely one mem- ber of each of the senior citi- zen organizations in the chy will also be set up- As Mr. Tobin sees It, the committee will be a kind of consumers' group, as they will, after all, be the prime consumers of the program. It will, be hopes, create sense of community before the fact, not after it. The advisory committee will also art as a clearing bouse of Information on boosing back to senior citizens, sup- plementing at least, what's been called an incredible grapevine telephoning system among a umber Ite tity't eioerij. BBCb effect tte eommijtiee will have at least on the first housing project is uncertain. An architect has already been appointed and construction could begin this fall. A cursory survey by The Herald, indicates thit senior citizens wanting to move into an apartment type project like I he one being built on the Central School site are so happy its at last to be built, tiey aren't prepared at this stage to be too critical of how.it will go up. They include people living alone in houses they no longer feel up to maintaining by themselves and want to sell, pensioners on fixed incomes living in inadequate housing, and others with only a little better income .living in suites that take a far chunk out of their pocketoook than they'd like, They are people who can Mill look after themselves, however, and don't want to be restricted by even the rel- atively few. bat necessary, requirements of a lodge. An seem to agree the Cen- tral School site is to downtown shopping, buses, churches, the new library and civic buildings. The noise and bustle of a more urban set- ting doesn't seem to bother them in the least- a choice spot I can't believe that it would be on valuable said senior citizen. As for its height, they are Ins sure. Most said they hoped it wonkhvt be thac five storiec. One woman she would move in anyway M it higher, and fee top Hear.