Freedom ride

For older adults, taking the bus spells freedom – no matter what language they speak.

Social isolation can affect all seniors but those from ethno-culturally diverse communities are at greater risk.  A grant from HCF is helping the Hamilton Council on Aging to expand its successful “Let’s Take the Bus” workshop designed to increase these seniors’ independence and sense of belonging.

A workshop for South Asian seniors included presentations on everything from planning the route to paying the fare, all assisted by a volunteer interpreter, and materials in Urdu and Punjabi.  Following the workshop, the City of Hamilton supplied a bus and driver to take participants to Jackson Square, where they were treated to lunch.

Participants reported feeling more comfortable with the bus and plan to take it more often.  Future workshops are planned for the Italian and Portuguese communities.