Retirement: A double-edged sword

Retirement: A double-edged sword

by Sean Hurley

Retirement for many is a double-edged sword. On one hand, there is the allure of finally being free of work and able to focus on hobbies and family. On the other hand, for many retirement represents a deeper poverty or entry into the world of precarious work and housing.

According to Statistics Canada, more than two-thirds of Canadians invest in retirement savings leaving a substantial number who do not. As well, a Globe and Mail report from February 2016 reports that “less than 20 per cent of middle-income families have saved enough to adequately supplement government benefits and the Canada/Quebec Pension Plan”. In 2014, the CBC reported, “24 per cent of those polled planned to use their homes as their main retirement income”.

A significant share of the middle-class population is with insufficient retirement savings and a fair number are depending largely upon their homes to last them through an old age with a longer life expectancy. That is worrisome enough, but what about those on the margins?

As a society, we tend to view seniors as a sort of fuzzy homogeneous group. However, all of the baggage we impose on each other throughout life is not magically alleviated when we reach the golden age of 65. Senior women are still women and senior persons of colour are still persons of colour. Senior disabled persons are still disabled persons. Senior immigrants are still immigrants. LBGTQ seniors are still LBGTQ people. In other words, the legacy and the daily existence of discrimination faced in employment, housing, and day-to-day interactions with government, agencies, retailers and on the street is carried into old age.


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POINT PEOPLE: Darren Brooks

POINT PEOPLE: Darren Brooks

by Jeff Hayward

More than five years ago, Darren Brooks started having symptoms of a debilitating disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that affects the nerves. The disease quickly progressed and sidelined him to the point of requiring a wheelchair.

However, through treatment and his own determination, Darren not only made a remarkable recovery — he’s now a personal trainer at Momentum Fitness on Ottawa Street North. We asked him some questions about his experience with the disease, and here’s how he responded …


Get your copy of The Point coming in October to get the whole story.

The Point is a community-driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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We’re sorry …

We’re sorry …

“Dog” by Kyrre Gjerstad is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The October/November issue of The Point will be a little late for delivery due to unavoidable circumstances. We expect delivery will begin after the Thanksgiving Day long weekend.

We apologize to our readers and advertizers for any inconvenience.

Ageism: The perpetrators will eventually become the targets

Ageism: The perpetrators will eventually become the targets

Photo by Neil Moralee/Flickr, CC BY-NC-ND

by Bev Wagar

Heather Dubrow, a prof at Fordham University, wrote in a thoughtful and pointed letter to the New York Times in February 2015:

“Why is youthfulness cast as positive and maturity disparaged in well-intentioned compliments about a boyish appearance and in the distaste for gray hair that keeps hairdressers in the style to which they are accustomed,” she asked. “Why do so many people who would rightly oppose the egregious effects of racism or prejudices about social class unabashedly indulge in ageism?”

The 2016 census shows us that, for the first time ever, there are more seniors than there are children — 16.9% of Canada’s population is more than 65 years old. By 2031, nearly one in four Canadians will be seniors. As well, centenarians are the fastest-growing population. If seniors are the dominant demographic why is ageism still pervasive?

Social science research tells us there are three sides of ageism: prejudicial attitudes; discriminatory practices, especially in employment but in other social roles as well; and  “systemic” ageism within institutions and policy that perpetuates stereotypes and reduces opportunities and undermines dignity. This third type is the toughest to confront since it is often done without malice or even awareness. All three have transformed aging from a natural process into a social problem burdening seniors.


Get your copy of The Point coming in October to get the whole story.

The Point is a community-driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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From Retirement Residence to Long-Term Care: One Dad’s Heartbreaking Journey

From Retirement Residence to Long-Term Care: One Dad’s Heartbreaking Journey

“Dinner time parking at elder adult care” by Steve Lambert is licensed under CC BY 2.0

by Kathryn Shanley

“There’s no way my mom can look after my dad. You can’t send him home,” I gasped. “She’s 83 with a bad back and he can’t walk!”

The deer-in-the-headlights look on my mother’s weary face echoed my own fears. “Our CCAC Co-ordinator (now Local Health Integration Networks – LHIN) will meet you and set up some services for your dad at home,” she replied. I knew “some services at home” didn’t translate to care 24/7. Panic set in. What if he falls on her? What if she has a heart attack? My dad, 86 and suffering from Alzheimer’s, had already been assessed and was on what seemed like an endless list for a long-term care bed.  

After insisting that dad have an assessment by the physiotherapist assigned to him at the hospital, the therapist agreed it wasn’t safe to send him home and he was transferred to another hospital in the city for rehab. This was the start of our long and frustrating search for a long-term care facility in Hamilton. Our journey is far from unique.


Get your copy of The Point coming in October to get the whole story.

The Point is a community driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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BOO! A frightfully inspiring Crown Point story

BOO! A frightfully inspiring Crown Point story

Photo courtesy of Scholastic Canada

by Brendan Oliver

To help get your child get into the spirit of Halloween pick up a copy of Boo! by Robert Munsch. Inspired by a Crown Point student, the story tells of one kid’s quest to get all the candy in the neighbourhood.

In June of 1991 Robert Munsch, the author of Love You Forever and the Paper Bag Princess, received a letter inviting him to visit the Grades 1 and 2 class at Lloyd George Elementary School on Beach Road, just east of Ottawa Street. Munsch accepted the invitation and dropped by the very next day.

When Munsch began telling stories, a boy named Lance asked if he could hear one about Halloween, his favourite day of the year. Just for him Munsch came up with a story that partly resembles today’s version of Boo! It stayed in Munsch’s mind and he would revisit the story idea from time to time. According to Munsch, “it took a long time to get good.”


Get your copy of The Point coming in October to get the whole story.

The Point is a community driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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Dusk brings drums and dance for the 4th annual Pipeline Trail Parade

Dusk brings drums and dance for the 4th annual Pipeline Trail Parade

by Elizabeth Seidl

Now in its fourth year, the Pipeline Trail Parade continues to re-imagine itself. While the parade will continue to promote active transportation and highlight the trail as a neighbourhood asset it will also provide an opportunity for east end residents to celebrate and learn about Indigenous culture.

Youth from the Hamilton Friendship Centre will feature centrally in the parade.

This year’s parade will begin at the HRIC parking lot near Ottawa and Main (34 Ottawa Street North) and have participants follow the Pipeline Trail to the new Geraldine Copps Parkette (140 Kenilworth Avenue North) while carrying handmade lanterns.

On Saturday, September 23rd 2017, starting at 7 p.m., a water story as told by Franklyn McNaughton, Cultural Resource Coordinator at the HRIC, will establish the importance of water to Indigenous culture.


Get your copy of The Point coming in August and get the answers.

The Point is a community driven volunteer effort supported through advertising. See the links on the left to learn more.

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