HOUSING is a hot topic. Given our aging population, seniors housing, specifically, is a concern for many.

Whether you are considering a move to a simpler lifestyle that includes more time for travel and fun, or are facing financial or health issues that are mandating a change...you are not alone. The latest census tells us that 52% of

Cranbrook’s population is aged 55+! (38% for the East Kootenay region).

On April 10th at the Cranbrook Heritage Inn, Kootenay CARP is hosting a panel discussion about “Housing Options as We Age”. The purpose of this discussion is to provoke thought and dialogue about housing needs as we age, and encourage planning next steps, for individuals, families and entire communities.

Many of us have unique hopes and dreams about where, and how, we would like to spend our “older adult” years. Some don’t feel they have options at all, assuming that the next step is into a hospital or care facility. “It’s not an easy fix”, says Cranbrook Better at Home’s Laurie Harris, who is facilitating the discussion, “there is no “one-size-

fits-all” solution to housing an aging population. We need options. We need more. And it behooves us to start planning before the needs become urgent.”

To aid the April 10 discussion, CARP is welcoming a diverse panel of community leaders. The panel includes Nicole Pearse, Shared Housing Navigator, Keys to Home; Chad Jensen, President & CEO, New Dawn Developments; Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt; Landon Elliott, Director, Marketing, Golden Life Management and Bill Hughes, Certified Financial Planner and Registered Retirement Consultant.

The goal is to lay a foundation for creative thought about “next steps” and the importance of PLANNING. The panel will bring basic facts and figures that we can use to start designing an attractive future. Examples will be shown of housing successes from other communities around the region, and around the globe.

“It’s a big topic, so we’re barely going to touch the surface in the time allotted”, says Kootenay CARP Chair, Karen Bailey-Romanko, “but it’s important that we start the conversation, provide some input to help people start planning, and see where the exchange takes us in terms of next steps. We hope that by sharing thoughts between

individuals and community developers and leaders, we can better understand what exists, what is planned, what is wanted, and what might be possible if we all work together!”

The public are welcomed to attend, Tuesday, April 10 at the Cranbrook Heritage Inn. Optional (self-pay) lunch starts at 11:30am. Kootenay CARP Update begins at 12:00pm, followed by the panel discussion. To register, call 250.426.5021 or email kootenay@carp.ca.