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Local recreational resources for the aged : a comparative survey of two Vancouver districts (1957-8) Andresson, Edda 1959

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LOCAL RECREATIONAL RESOURCES FOR THE AGED: A COMPARATIVE SURVEY OF TWO VANCOUVER DISTRICTS (1957-8)  by  EDDA ANDRESSON  T h e s i s Submitted i n P a r t i a l F u l f i l l m e n t of the Requirements f o r t h e Degree o f MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK i n the School o f S o c i a l Work  Accepted as conforming to the standard r e q u i r e d f o r the degree o f M a s t e r o f S o c i a l Work  School o f S o c i a l Work  1959 The U n i v e r s i t y  of B r i t i s h  Columbia  ABSTRACT The i n c r e a s i n g number of persons s u r v i v i n g i n t o o l d age, the p r o l o n g a t i o n of the p e r i o d spent i n r e t i r e m e n t , and the s o c i a l changes r e s u l t i n g from u r b a n i z a t i o n and i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n , have a l l combined to make the use of l e i s u r e time by the s e n i o r c i t i z e n s an urgent s o c i a l problem. For t h i s study, two d i s t r i c t s from the C i t y of Vancouver, both of which had a h i g h p r o p o r t i o n o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , were s e l e c t e d and compared. The purpose was to assess the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of e x i s t i n g resources i n meeting, the r e c r e a t i o n a l needs of the s e n i o r c i t i z e n s i n the two areas. Foremost was the q u e s t i o n of the nature o f e x i s t i n g r e s o u r c e s , t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y to the g e n e r a l p o p u l a t i o n , and. t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y to s e n i o r c i t i z e n s . I t a l s o attempted to throw some l i g h t on the meaning of r e c r e a t i o n to the o l d e r person, and the extent to which he i s w i l l i n g or a b l e to i n v o l v e h i m s e l f i n meeting h i s own r e c r e a t i o n a l needs. For the purpose o f g a i n i n g i n f o r m a t i o n the coo p e r a t i o n was sought from m i n i s t e r s o f l o c a l churches, and p e n s i o n e r s ' o r g a n i z a t i o n s , through the use of q u e s t i o n naires. These were f o l l o w e d up by p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s with s t a f f of s o c i a l and r e c r e a t i o n a l agencies, r e p r e s e n t a t i v e men and women, and i n t e r e s t e d c i t i z e n s . The socio-economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the two areas are d e s c r i b e d , and the r e c r e a t i o n a l resources a v a i l a b l e and. the use made of them by o l d people are analyzed. Many groups t h a t r e p l i e d indicated, t h a t the p r o v i s i o n o f r e c r e a t i o n was p a r t of t h e i r purpose, but t h a t s o c i a l a c t i o n was t h e i r primary concern. The q u e s t i o n n a i r e was u s e f u l , but to determine the needs t h a t are considered important by the r e c r e a t i o n a u t h o r i t i e s and the p e n s i o n e r s , i t was necessary to make f u r t h e r i n q u i r i e s through p e r s o n a l i n t e r v i e w s w i t h people concerned w i t h the i s s u e . These f i n d i n g s are that the programmes s t u d i e d are a b l e to meet w i t h v a r y i n g degrees of success the needs of the s e n i o r c i t i z e n s f o r companionship with t h e i r own group. The e x t e n s i o n o f e x i s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s and programmes, and more frequent meetings are needed, however, to s a t i s f y the emotional and l e i s u r e - t i m e needs of s e n i o r c i t i z e n s . In the l a s t chapter, the r e c r e a t i o n a l resources and needs are reviewed and the l i m i t a t i o n s of the survey are d i s c u s s e d . I t appears t h a t the survey d e a l t p r i m a r i l y w i t h o l d e r people of l i m i t e d f i n a n c i a l means who enjoy s u f f i c i e n t l y good h e a l t h to go out to meetings. Larger q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the r e c r e a t i o n a l needs and resources a v a i l a b l e to a l l s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , .would r e q u i r e f u r t h e r surveys to answer them p r o p e r l y .  In the  presenting  requirements  of B r i t i s h it  this thesis  f o r an  Columbia,  freely available  agree that for  Department  copying  gain  shall  Department  or  not  his  for reference  and  study.  I  for extensive be  copying  granted  representatives. of  by  of Columbia,  make  further this  Head o f  thesis my  It i s understood  this thesis  a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  of  the  of  University shall  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, C a n a d a . Date  the  Library  publication be  degree at the  p u r p o s e s may  o r by  that  advanced  fulfilment  I agree that  permission  scholarly  in partial  for financial  written  permission.  TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER I  THE USE OF LEISURE-TIME BY THE AGED:  PAGE:  PROBLEM AND OPPORTUNITY  1  The Social Problems of the Aged. Needs of the Aged.  The  The Meaning of  Recreation f o r the Aged.  Method of  Study. CHAPTER II RECREATIONAL RESOURCES FOR THE AGED: THE ROLE OF THE CHURCHES AND OF OLD PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATIONS IN TWO AREAS OF VANCOUVER The Areas Studied.  i:4 Living Conditions  of the People i n Area A. Resources i n Area A.  Recreational  The Churches'  Recreational Program f o r the Aged. Living Conditions and the People i n Area B.  Recreational Resources i n  Area B.  The Churches' Recreational  Program f o r the Aged i n Area B. The Role of the Old Peoples' Organizations. The Old Age Pensioners' Organizations Summary. CHAPTER III SOME SPECIFIC RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS  33  Leisure Time A c t i v i t i e s Provided by a Branch of the Old Age Pensioners' Organization, Area A. Club.  Gordon House.  ers' Branch, Area B.  The Happy Hours Old Age PensionAn Experimental  Program Offered by a Church. Alexandra Neighbourhood House. Summary. CHAPTER IV  THE SITUATION REVIEWED  51  Some Limitations of the Survey.  The  Nature and Extent of E x i s t i n g Recreational Resources.  Some  Observations on the Use Made of the Resources.  Recommendations.  APPENDIX A - l QUESTIONNAIRE TO THE SENIOR CITIZENS' ORGANIZATION. APPENDIX A-2 QUESTIONNAIRE TO THE MINISTERS. APPENDIX B  MAP SHOWING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE AREAS STUDIED.  ACKNOWLEDGMENT With gratitude to the Lions' Ladies Club who i n i t i a t e d t h i s study by t h e i r bursary. Many thanks are extended to the people who gave of t h e i r time, knowledge and experience i n the problems of the aged, to the formulation of this survey.  The sincerest of thanks must also go to  Mr. M. Wheeler f o r reading and correcting the material and to my colleagues f o r t h e i r continuing encouragement, interest and moral support.  CHAPTER I THE USE OF LEISURE-TIME BY THE AGED: PROBLEM AMD  OPPORTUNITY  Problems created by the increase i n the number of the aged i n our population are only beginning to be r e a l i z e d at the present time.  Improved public health measures, advances  i n surgery and medicine, improved knowledge of hygiene  and  n u t r i t i o n , and general improvements i n the North American standard of l i v i n g have a l l contributed to the increase i n l i f e expectancy during the present century.^  -  This, coupled  with the declining b i r t h rate of the pre-war years, has resulted i n an increasing proportion of the population being composed of persons over the age of s i x t y - f i v e years.  In  Canada, the proportion of persons aged s i x t y - f i v e years and over increased from f i v e per cent of the t o t a l population at the beginning of t h i s century to nearly eight per cent i n 19§1. The proportion i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s nearly eleven per cent and the numbers involved—approximately 150,000 persons—give added urgency to the s o c i a l and economic problems of the older person i n t h i s province. The use of leisure-time presents some of the most d i f f i c u l t problems f o r the ageing person i n our society.  The  Twentieth Century i n North America has been aptly described as  - See, f o r example, Kessler, Henry H., The P r i n c i p l e s and Practices of Rehabilitation, Philadelphia, Lea and Ferbiger, L  1950.  the Century of C h i l d r e n . and  An  increased  emphasis on youth  the problems o f c h i l d r e n i n our changing s o c i e t y  brought about a heavy c o n c e n t r a t i o n ment of the p o p u l a t i o n  has  of s e r v i c e s to t h i s seg-  and,to a l a r g e extent  has meant that  the problems of the aged have been g i v e n l e s s a t t e n t i o n . These problems are exacerbated when, as i s o f t e n the  case,  the o l d e r person i s compelled to r e t i r e from h i s normal employment on reaching  a c e r t a i n c h r o n o l o g i c a l age,  regardless  of h i s p h y s i c a l a b i l i t y to continue working or h i s own i n the matter. man  who  s i t u a t i o n o f the  forty-or fifty-year-old  f i n d s the employment f i e l d barred  h i s age our  The  i s even more d e v a s t a t i n g  wishes  to him  because o f  in i t s effects.  For many o f  s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , then l e i s u r e - t i m e becomes an enforced  d i t i o n o f t h e i r l i v e s and many negative  a c o n d i t i o n which may  associations.  the added l e i s u r e - t i m e may  carry with i t  For others more f o r t u n a t e  ment i s p a r t o f a c a r e f u l l y planned l i f e ,  and  con-  retire-  f o r such people  w e l l prove a f r u i t f u l and  satisfy-  i n g experience. I t i s safe to assume t h a t c e r t a i n problems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the use  of l e i s u r e - t i m e are common to most s e n i o r  these w i l l be d i s c u s s e d  i n general  terms before  the p a r t i c u l a r needs of the groups who the present The  form the  citizens  examining, subject  of  study.  S o c i a l Problems of the Aged In North American c u l t u r e a premium i s p l a c e d upon  independence and  p r o d u c t i v i t y , and  K u r t z , R u s s e l l H. ed. "white House Conference 1940, 1947. 2  the v i s i b l e s i g n of both i s  S o c i a l Work Year Book, 1947, " R u s s e l l Sage Foundation, N.  Y.,  -3inaterial winner  wealth.  and  material change  family,  wealth.  both  society ties  his  Status  and  are  i n  or  being  It  is  new  not  s k i l l s  more and  may  also  death  him  and  the  process  for  by  electrical  where  such  person  his  recreation  one  i n  age,  the  with  a  serve  reduced  as  of  this  on  of  often  family  of  is  to  the  may  or  to  by  to  a  be  more  to  person.  frequently on  his  i n  a  or  society  people.  degree  than  senior  sets  younger  large  made  a c t i v i t i e s Few  l i v e  day  develop  television  must  granted  day  older  resources. own  they  i n  the  ideas  imposed  dependent  health  of  of  is  another  important  constant  concern  to  bodily medical  physical  undermine  generally such  is  general  costs  to  is  a  on  the  trans-  older  afford.  which  Changes  afford  for  and  and  faces  member  advances  adjustment  yet  man  marriage  new  financial  taken  cost  Physical and  assimilate  can  bread-  spouse.  restrictions  are  the  through  the  productivity  productive  \^ork h a r d s h i p s  meagre  both  the  provider  the  of  to  however,  scientific  appliances,  things  and  can  the  to  example,  other  portation  and  for  interests  Similarly,  of  for  related  a  family  frequently  by  as  loosened  easy  d i f f i c u l t  citizens,  role  as  Technological l i v i n g  community,  retirement,  role  perhaps  the  directly  social  i n his  already  children  is  With  his  i n  agreed  the  that  deterioration  tonus, care,  capacity older  age of  sight,  older  d i s a b i l i t i e s and  the  are  person's  brings  many  with  a l l  very  hearing  of  ageing  people. with  co-incident  threatening security.  certain or  i n  associated  problems  sense i t  factor  physical  muscular  and It  is  changes  a b i l i t y ,  ana,  of  course,  t h e a g e d a r e more s u b j e c t  diseases.^  C o n d i t i o n s s u c h as h e a r t  to the  so-called  ailments,  a n d m e n t a l i l l n e s s a l l show i n c r e a s e d  chronic  arthritis,  cancer  i n c i d e n c e beyond the  age  4 of  sixty-five.  Added t o t h e p r o b l e m s o f p h y s i c a l change  the l e s s e n i n g of p h y s i c a l capacity  are the emotions of  a n d a n x i e t y p r o m p t e d by t h e s e c h a n g e s . psychological friendly  b u r d e n must o f t e n be b o r n e w i t h o u t t h e h e l p  counsel  to  share the burden.  F o r many o f t h e  and e v e n i f  a r e o f t e n u n a b l e t o be o f any g r e a t  comfort i n h e l p i n g  o l d e r p e r s o n t o cope w i t h t h e a n x i e t y  associated  they  our c u l t u r e ,  largely  the r o l e assigned  as a r e s u l t o f t h e a t t i t u d e  the aged  i n our society.  to c o n s i d e r t h e a g e d as a s p e c i a l s p e c i a l needs that i s o l a t e population.  aged  are,  Hence t h e p r a c t i c e  t h e a g e d a n d the t e n d e n c y  r e c r e a t i o n a l purposes. c e r t a i n problems i n that  w i t h normal  category  the aged  in  toward,  and  tendency  o f p e o p l e who stream  have of  of t h i n k i n g i n g r o u p  terms  to  special  s e g r e g a t e them i n for political,  This segregation the p e c u l a r i t i e s  social  o f t h e aged of  some o f  and  presents the  o f t h e g r o u p a r e more l i k e l y to g a i n p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n ,  J.  they  the  There i s a  them f r o m t h e g e n e r a l  i n s t i t u t i o n s o r i n s p e c i a l groups  the  of  processes. Uther p s y c h o l o g i c a l p r o b l e m s c o n f r o n t  about  fear  This a d d i t i o n a l  l o v e d o n e s a r e no l o n g e r a v a i l a b l e ,  ageing  and  result  that  t h e e n t i r e g r o u p becomes  "peculiar" i n  with  the  ^ S h i e g l i t z , Edward J . , e d i t o r , G e r i a t r i c M e d i c i n e , B . L i p p i n c o t t C o . , P h i l a d e l p h i a , 195%~.  4  members  3rd.ed.  Reports of the M e t r o p o l i t a n L i f e Insurance C o . , the Ameri H e a r t F o u n d a t i o n , a n d G o v e r n m e n t s r e p o r t s s u c h as t h e A n n u a l R e p o r of t h e P r o v i n c i a l M e n t a l H e a l t h S e r v i c e s , P r o v i n c e o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , t e n d to b e a r o u t t h i s o b s e r v a t i o n .  -5eyes  of  the  public,  representative aged  cross  population,  numerous,  but  citizens healthy  of  because  the  the  bodily  problems,  of  adjustments that  a  materialistic  examine  some  thym b e f o r e in  the  use  The Needs  of  peculiar  these  of  leisure  the  for  of  the  economic  medical  care,  emotional  aid.  on the  enactment  Science  the  aged  the  one  hand,  senior  two  the  not  type  a l l  senior  i n terms  course,  do  of have  ageing  seems d e s l r a o i e available  and resources  latter  levels  and,  security  in to  to  meet  involved  of  or  basically these  clothing,  on the  from are  shelter  otner,  w h i c h comes  tne  needs and.  need  from a  the  for  sense  or  participation.  citizen,  means  vary  Essentially,  including fooa,  oi' s o c i a l  by p r i v a t e  at  additional  s i t u a t i o n or  needs  ao  population.  security  i n Canada  than  some  time.  or  general  worth and a degree  attained  rather  and the .resources  and p s y c h o l o g i c a l  For  to  and i t  specific  more  Aged  The n e e d s needs  needs  some  or  the  b r i n g about  tendency  tneir  society,  examining the of  to  fairly  amongst  ageing  The a g e d  7  a  becoming  and create  strong  ageing.  some n e e d s somewhat  a  finds  are  of  eccentricities of  are  aged  processes  is  one  personalities  processes  there  i n terms  fact,  section  and because  s l o w i n g down o f social  in actual  economic  security  by p u b l i c p r o v i s i o n o f  provision is  made  through  Government.  'The O l a A g e  ^uavan, Burgess et A i , P e r s o n a l Adjustment Research Associates i n c . , Chicago, 1 9 4 9 .  can  be  financial legislative Assistance  i n Old  Age,  -faAct  i s a Federal  0  enabling  c e r t a i n maximum a l l o w a n c e s five,  The  on  age  S e c u r i t y Act  seventy  with  recipients' up  ten years  British of  Columbia  u l d Age  residence §1,020 p e r the  case  shelter,  on but  Medical  care  case  couple.  of a  f o r the  recipient  t h a t h i s enjoyment o f r a d i o may  be  and  this  7 Ibid.  certain  and  exceed  $1,800 i n  supplementary c l o t h i n g , and  f o r the  security pension  senior  who  supplementary  allowance, for  Such t h i n g s as d e n t a l  care,  special medications o f o l d age  allowance  Old  qualify  s e r v i c e s are d i f f i c u l t  the  are not with  always  the  result  or l i s t e n i n g  f o r want o f g l a s s e s o r h e a r i n g  A n A c t t o p r o v i d e f o r O l d Age 3 0 t h June, 1951. 15 G e o r g e V I D  of  to the r e c i p i e n t s of  f o r the  the  Assistance  meets  single person  problem  to  assistance  income does n o t  s u c h t h i n g s as r e a d i n g  limited  country  by t h e P r o v i n c e  Even w i t h  O l d Age  to o b t a i n .  appliances,  sixty-  references to  S e c u r i t y who  i s provided  some a n c i l l a r y m e d i c a l  provided  i n the  o f O l a Age  whose t o t a l  b a s i s o f a means t e s t  prosthetic  of  grant  (government.  the meeting o f b a s i c needs f o r food,  senior c i t i z e n  the  and  annum i n t h e  to  Supplementary  a month i s p a i d  A s s i s t a n c e or of the the  sources.  i s o f t e n a most d i f f i c u l t  citizen. Age  residence  A s s i s t a n c e o r O l d Age  of a married  assistance  the F e d e r a l  t o anyone i n r e c e i p t  requirements  t h e Age  e a c h month w i t h o u t  income f r o m o t h e r  to twenty d o l l a r s  Provinces  makes p r o v i s i o n f o r a l l p e r s o n s  r e c e i v e a minimum payment  of  to persons over  a cost-sharing basis with 7  O l d Age  over  act that permits  to  aids.  Assistance, Assented  to  -7Moreover, because.of the method used for re-imbursing medical p r a c t i t i o n e r s who attend senior c i t i z e n s under public asupices, some doctors are reluctant to make house c a l l s or even to provide o f f i c e service unless i t i s a matter of dire emergency since t h i s type of practice i s r e l a t i v e l y unrewarding f o r the medical profession.  H o s p i t a l i z a t i o n also presents a problem  for the aged person on a marginal income since i t i s d i f f i c u l t i n the f i r s t place to gain admission to h o s p i t a l , and, secondly, i t i s often d i f f i c u l t to maintain l i v i n g accommodation i f the h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n i s to be extended over a period of time.  Thus  the senior c i t i z e n i s often confronted with the alternative of either foregoing necessary medical treatment i n hospital i n order to preserve h i s l i v i n g arrangements, or of going into h o s p i t a l and taking the r i s k of having no accommodation to return to when the time comes f o r discharge. Housing, of course, i s one of the most vexing and d i f f i c u l t problems facing the person on a marginal income and the senior c i t i z e n receiving some form of public assistance has to make many compromises i n order to f i n d any form of accommodation.  In B r i t i s h  .Columbia the problem i s aggravated  by the rapid growth of population i n the large urban centres. While the moderate climate tends to attract many people at retirement, the expanding economy of the province since World War I I has attracted a much larger group of young people with greater earning capacity than the senior c i t i z e n and t h i s has undoubtedly created a s i t u a t i o n of high land values and high rentals i n housing.  Caught i n the squeeze between r i s i n g rent  -oleveis are of  on tne  one n a n a a n a a l i m i t e d  eventually housing  tnat  to  tney  accept a d r a s t i c  can a f f o r d  sub-standard  health,  housing  both p h y s i c a l  to is  income  other  r e d u c t i o n i n tne  occupy. ciosely  and m e n t a l ,  on t h e  It  has  "been  associated  and w i t h an  standard demonstrated  with  poor  exacerbation  o  of  social  citizens that  problems. of  marginal  complicate  clothing  ana It  no e f f e c t i v e  use in has of  of  is  generally  seemingly  assume  citizen  to  cope  many  i n many  of  to  problems  fooa,  of  the  these  that  there  income,  physical  and  positive  areas.9  change  In view  housing  by  constructive  facilities  North America i n the  of  r e c r e a t i o n might, help  w i t h the multitude of  Recreation  for  the  Modern t h i n k i n g on t h e  adjustments  this, the  it  seems  senior  frustrations  that  attend  growth and development  has  given  food,  c l o t h i n g and  shelter  are  needs  of  life  to  people  i f  is  Aged subject  of  rise  the  not  to  personality concept  sufficient  bring a  sense  of  t o meet  that the  fulfilment.  o  Common Human N e e d s . C h a r l o t t e T o w l e , A m e r i c a n A s s o c i a t i o n o f . S o c i a l W o r k e r s , New Y o r k , 16, N . Y . 1955. o  San  Francisco  be  psychological  recreational  throughout  can  decent  c a n be a m e l i o r a t e d  cities  about  while  life.  The M e a n i n g o f  - •  providing  that  The p r o v i s i o n o f  brought  residents  daily  senior  psychological  an adequate  with ageing  time.  areas  recognized  for  care,  associated  logical  his  of  on the  shelter.  leisure  the  create  simple problems  substitute  depressed  additional stresses  income must  tne  and proper m e d i c a l stresses  These  -9A-ll people seem to require acceptance and recognition of t h e i r inherent worth and dignity as human beings.  This  acceptance i s sought as much i n recreative pursuits as i n other a c t i v i t i e s , and f o r the senior c i t i z e n who has much l e i s u r e time, h i s sense of worth i s probably more often strengthened i n his l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t i e s than i n his other l i f e routines. Kaplan has suggested that recreation refers to "any  a c t i v i t y that i s e i t h e r creative or recreative and  which gives emotional s a t i s f a c t i o n to the person involved. I t i s the aspect of emotional s a t i s f a c t i o n that i s of importance i n considering the meaning of recreation to the aged.  The older person, removed from productive  employment,  must f i n d his s a t i s f a c t i o n s i n non-productive a c t i v i t y . Creativeness  can play a part i n t h i s , but many senior  c i t i z e n s are inexperienced  at expressing  latent c r e a t i v i t y ,  and these must derive emotional s a t i s f a c t i o n from other aspects of t h e i r recreative l i v e s .  I t Is probable that many  senior c i t i z e n s derive s a t i s f a c t i o n from s o c i a l contacts and from group acceptance expressed i n "doing together",  and that  recreation of t h i s type i s the most meaningful way of u t i l i z i n g l e i s u r e time f o r senior c i t i z e n s .  In some ways,  i t i s l i k e l y that group a c t i v i t i e s and interests replace the close t i e s of family which have been l o s t or weakened. Following on this p r i n c i p l e , however, i t would be l o g i c a l to assume that recreation f o r the aged should be a part of overall community recreation, i n order to provide a sense K a p l a n , Jerome, A Social Program f o r Older People, The University of Minnesota Press,. Minneapolis,. .1953,- p.- 7 10  -10-  of continuity with former family t i e s by the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a l l age groups.  In practice, t h i s does not seem to be  too successful, although some special agencies have such comprehensive programmes which are well attended by the aged.  Actually, i n recreation i t seems that the aged prefer  the less intense programmes of t h e i r own  age grouping,  except i n mass programmes such as concerts where the recreation i s of a passive nature and requires very l i t t l e investment of " s e l f " to e f f e c t a successful programme. Recreation f o r the aged can have various meanings, according to the unique s i t u a t i o n of. each older person. For the person who may  l i v e s i n r e l a t i v e discomfort,  recreation  be the means of d i s p e l l i n g loneliness, of providing  physical comfort or of o f f e r i n g a c t i v i t i e s that help to r e l i e v e anxiety, even i f only temporarily. recreation may  provide an opportunity  For others,  to remove themselves  for a time from the rush and pressure of family l i v i n g , while others may  f i n d status and recognition from belonging  to a  group composed of former work associates. In addition to these more personal forms of motivation to p a r t i c i p a t e i n l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t y , there i s the factor of service to others. men  In the North American culture,  have made much use of the group approach i n dealing with  s o c i a l issues and meeting community needs.  As a result,  organizations such as service clubs, housing associations, etc., have grown up.  Senior c i t i z e n s who  have i d e n t i f i e d  with such community groups i n younger years may  still  derive  personal s a t i s f a c t i o n from such a c t i v i t i e s , and at the same  -11time make an important contribution to t h e i r fellow men. such people can also bring to community groups a background of experience which, i f used i n t e l l i g e n t l y , can be extremely valuable. Method of Study The problems of increasing numbers of senior c i t i z e n s i n the population, together with the special problems they present i n regard to the use of leisure-time, r a i s e certain important questions.  Eoremost among these i s , of  course, the question of the nature of e x i s t i n g recreational resources, t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y to the general population, and t h e i r a v a i l a b i l i t y to senior, c i t i z e n s .  In 1954 a  survey was made of recreation services f o r the aged i n the c i t y of Vancouver.'""*" 1  This was a factual survey of the  number and types of e x i s t i n g services, and did not concern i t s e l f with an evaluation of the adequacy of the programmes provided.  The study did, however, point up the need f o r an  evaluation of programmes and of the amount of p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n them by the senior c i t i z e n s , and i t focussed attention on certain c r i t i c a l areas i n Vancouver. The purpose of the present study i s to assess the effectiveness of existing resources i n meeting the r e creational needs of older people i n two d i s t i n c t areas i n the c i t y .  I t also attempts to throw some l i g h t on the meaning  of recreation to the older person, and the extent to which he i s w i l l i n g or able to involve himself i n meeting his own recreational needs.  The survey was r e s t r i c t e d to two well-  Grant, Joan, Recreational ^Interests and Actiy.ities for Senior Citizens ±n—Vaiii!uuvbii Scliuul uf Ouuial Wurk, University of B r i t i s h Columbia,. .1954. 1 1  ,  t  -12-  defined areas of the c i t y of Vancouver, the boundaries of which are shown on the map  i n Appendix B.  These areas  vrere selected for study because of the heavy concentration of old people i n them and because of c e r t a i n d i s t i n c t socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which have an important  bearing  on the well-being of the old people resident i n the areas. Information about these areas and about the recreational needs and resources i n them was  obtained from observation  i n the f i e l d , from interviews with s t a f f of s o c i a l and recreational agencies, from interviews with senior c i t i z e n s and persons interested i n the problems of senior c i t i z e n s ,  and  through the use of questionnaires directed to special groups i n the areas. The special groups selected were churches and senior c i t i z e n s ' organizations, and the information sought related to the kinds of recreational a c t i v i t i e s provided by these groups, the l e v e l of p a r t i c i p a t i o n by senior c i t i z e n s , and the needs for developing further recreational resources i n the two  areas.  The r e p l i e s to the questionnaires provided some i n d i c a t i o n of the number of resources available and l e v e l s of p a r t i c i p a t i o n , but by themselves did not give s u f f i c i e n t information on which to base a proper evaluation of the program or of t h e i r value i n meeting needs of the senior c i t i z e n s .  Accordingly, follow-  up interviews were arranged with the respondents to the questionnaires. The questionnaires and the groups to whom they were sent are shown i n Appendix A.  -13-  Chapter I I d e s c r i b e s the socio-economic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the two  areas and analyzes the f i n d i n g s o f the  survey s e p a r a t e l y f o r the two  areas i n terms of the r e c r e a t -  i o n a l r e s o u r c e s a v a i l a b l e and the use made of them by o l d e r people. Chapter I I I i n c l u d e s a q u a l i t a t i v e e v a l u a t i o n of: the s e r v i c e s , based on i n t e r v i e w s w i t h key p e r s o n n e l i n v o l v e d i n the programs, and attempts  to i d e n t i f y the k i n d s of  r e c r e a t i o n a l needs f o r which there i s no p r o v i s i o n e i t h e r i n the e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e of s e r v i c e s or i n the programs  themselves.  CHAPTER I I RECREATIONAL RESOURCES FOR THE AGED: THE ROLE OF THE AND OF OLD PEOPLE'S ORGANIZATIONS I N TWO THE  AREAS OF  CHURCHES  VANCOUVER  AREAS STUDIED Two a r e a s were i n c l u d e d  i n the survey, the f i r s t  comprising  t h e West End a n d Downtown d i s t r i c t s  consisting  o f the area l y i n g  by M a i n S t r e e t  south o f False  and t h e second  Creek  and bounded  on t h e e a s t a n d T r a f a l g a r on t h e w e s t .  The  p r e c i s e b o u n d a r i e s o f t h e two a r e a s a r e shown on t h e map included  i n appendix  B and a l t h o u g h unimportant  they have t h e advantage ponding  f o r purposes  of reference,  be r e f e r r e d  to as area A throughout  south o f F a l s e  Creek  The tinct.  district which  i n turn  buildings the  the t r a n s i t i o n  houses  from a f i r s t - c l a s s  catering principally  B census  dis-  i n the a r c h i t e c t u r e of  y e a r s ago t o a m e d i o c r e  residential  rooming-house a r e a  being replaced  by  apartment  t o t h e upper-income groups o f  Thus i t i s n o t uncommon  to f i n d  rooming  s i d e by s i d e  with  w e l l - p l a n n e d apartment d w e l l i n g s .  "'"Area A c o m p r i s e s 1956,  i n area A are quite  i n v a r i o u s stages of d e t e r i o r a t i o n  spacious,  will  i n Area A  included  i s now g r a d u a l l y  population.  For  a s a r e a B.  two d i s t r i c t s  of fifty  tracts.^  t h e s t u d y and t h e d i s t r i c t  The West E n d s e c t i o n r e f l e c t s  buildings  census  of corres-  West E n d and Downtown d i s t r i c t s  Lifting C o n d i t i o n s o f the People  its  o f comparison  to the boundaries o f p a r t i c u l a r  convenience  i n themselves,  tracts  Bulletin  census  tracts  14, 15, 16, 22, 21. CT-11.  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ,  6.  Area  D. B. S. Census o f Canada  -15In contrast to the West End which i s primarilyr e s i d e n t i a l , the Downtown area with certain exceptions c h i e f l y commerical.  The exceptions  is  are a few older houses,  some hotel accommodation and rooms located i n and around the d i s t r i c t known as "skid road".  T h i s ' l a t t e r d i s t r i c t , although  small i n area, accommodates a large group of s o c i a l l y  and  p  economically  marginal families and single people.  Rents f o r  the most part are cheap and much of the accommodation consists of single housekeeping rooms so that i t i s not surprising to f i n d the area inhabited by a large number of elderly people: of l i m i t e d means, most of whom are l i v i n g on t h e i r r-  own.  A wide range of incomes i s found among the residents  of the West End,  ranging from very small pensions to unusually  large private means.  In the main, however, the  construction  of large modern apartment buildings has attracted a large number of more a f f l u e n t residents.  The e l d e r l y population i s  d i s t r i b u t e d among a l l income groups, but because of the r e l a t i v e l y cheap accommodation i n many of the older homes i n the area, there tends to be a heavier concentration of old people l i v i n g on small pensions of one form or another. Recreational Resources i n Area A Recreational resources  i n Area A may  be thought of  as being of two kinds; on the one hand there are those designed i n f o r m a t i o n obtained from the Old-'Age Pensions Board indicates that approximately 30 per cent of the senior c i t i z e n s on current case loads reside i n the "skid-road" area.  -16s p e c i a l l y f o r the area, and on the other there are those intended to serve the population of greater Vancouver. Judging by the r e p l i e s to the questionnaire used i n the survey, there i s a paucity of recreational resources designed primarily f o r the residents of Area A; however, within the area there i s a preponderance  of recreational  f a c i l i t i e s available to the whole c i t y , and i t i s apparent that many senior c i t i z e n s i n the area a v a i l themselves of these f a c i l i t i e s and especially of those that require no f i n a n c i a l outlay. Some of these resources are Stanley Park, Georgia Auditorium, the Main Brank of the Vancouver Public Library, theatres, bowling a l l e y s , b i l l i a r d h a l l s , etc.  Some special  mention should be made of Stanley Park since the senior c i t i z e n s interviewed i n conjunction with t h i s survey have reported that they availed themselves of many of i t s resources.  The park  provides such f a c i l i t i e s as outdoor checker-boards, lawn bowling, outdoor symphony concerts, "pitch and putt" golf, outdoor dances ( p a r t i c u l a r l y square dances and national dances) and just f r i e n d l y conversation with v i s i t o r s to the park.^ Besides these more obvious recreational a c t i v i t i e s i t i s evident that a number of other i n s t i t u t i o n s i n the area have become an important source of s a t i s f a c t i o n to the older people i n spending t h e i r l e i s u r e time.  These include p a r t i c i -  pation i n casual assemblies at second-hand stores, auction ^One senior c i t i z e n reported that f o r twenty years he has found a l l h i s l i v i n g accommodation through people he met i n Stanley Park.  -17houses, railway and shipping stations, and i n smaller parks, such as Victory Square.  For senior c i t i z e n s , the chief  recreational value of these resources i s the opportunity to gather with people of t h e i r own age and to derive some sense of sharing i n the d a i l y l i f e of the c i t y . One of the few recreational services designed specially f o r a sub-group of the residents i s Gordon Neighbourhood House, which i s situated i n the West End d i s t r i c t . Gordon House i s an unique type of recreational source i n t h i s area i n that i t functions as a s o c i a l agency designed to meet recreational needs of the residents of the area.  Special  programs under professional s o c i a l work leadership are available to the senior c i t i z e n s , and i n addition counselling services are provided by trained s o c i a l workers.  Other l e s s  structured resources are available i n the area, such as the F i r s t United Church, Happy Hours Club and the St. James Branch of the Old Age Pensioners Organization.^ The Churches' Recreational Program f o r the Aged. Twelve churches of various denominations are located i n Area A.  In order to ascertain the approximate number of  senior c i t i z e n s i n the congregations and the kinds of l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t i e s provided over and above the regular services, the co-operation of the ministers of these churches was  sought  i n answering a mailed questionnaire (See Appendix A). ^"The Church and Senior Citizens Clubs are discussed more extensively i n a separate, section of t h i s chapter.  -18S i x m i n i s t e r s r e p l i e d to the replies nence  v a r y i n g both i n range  of answers.  questionnaire,  and i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n and  I t was n o t e d t h a t  a l l of the  r e p o r t e d a s u b s t a n t i a l number o f o l d e r p e o p l e congregations,  the  to determine any  from the  significant  citizens of the  f o u r churches  two t h o u g h t  that  fourth instance  recognized  c o m f o r t p r o v i d e d by o r g a n i z e d value  t o many o l d e r p e o p l e ,  that  the  no a t t e m p t  people.  of the  those  leisure  focus  time a c t i v i t i e s  a d d i t i o n to the r e g u l a r Four of  the  reported recreational  religious  the r e g u l a r  churches  offered  special  especially  while three  related  s p i r i t u a l help  churches  groups.  i s of  programs  churches  and  inestimable  for  this  older  was  offered  on in  questionnaire  o f one k i n d  services.  time a c t i v i t i e s  to the needs o f  p r o g r a m s o p e n t o a l l age  the  inconclusive.  r e p l y i n g to the  religious  leisure  while  change;  questionnaire  and s o c i a l programs  besides  only,  the  questionnaire,  services.  s i x churches  another,  people  that  However,  was made t o c o v e r  churches'  the  was  been  senior  increase,  c h u r c h programs  a s p e c t i n the e v a l u a t i o n of the Accordingly,  there had  of the  had been n o i s i g n i f i c a n t  i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i d e d i n the is  churches  period.  had been a n o t i c e a b l e  there  While i t  five-year  r e p l y i n g to t h i s part  there  one r e p o r t e d t h a t  their  o r d e c r e a s e i n t h e number o f  over the past  perti-  unfortunately,  i n f o r m a t i o n g i v e n whether  increase  attending  in  I t was n o t p o s s i b l e ,  r  churches  a c t u a l number i n f o u r o f t h e  b e i n g o v e r one h u n d r e d .  the  i n the area  or  One o f for  young  reported  senior citizens,  the  programs  as w e l l  as  -19The programs offered by the churches vary from church to church.  Two churches indicated that they had women's  a u x i l i a r i e s ' and a men's club, but none of these groups were described i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l to give a complete picture of t h e i r interests or the purposes of the programs.  A third  church, however, reported that i t had a men's club which the minister described as devotional, recreational and s o c i a l . Other a c t i v i t i e s reported were bible classes, r e t i r e d folks fellowship clubs, guilds and women's associations, but noneof these vere described i n s u f f i c i e n t d e t a i l to give a clear idea of what was involved In the program, or to what extent the church members were p a r t i c i p a t i n g . No i n d i c a t i o n was given by any of the churches reporting as to whether or not additional a c t i v i t i e s were needed or desirable, or i f plans were under consideration f o r the implementation of further programs within the church. The ministers reporting from churches i n Area A f e l t that special e f f o r t s were needed to bring the senior c i t i z e n s to church.  Special e f f o r t s suggested by the ministers  included personal i n v i t a t i o n s and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s , as well as church services.  Furthermore, two ministers saw the need  f o r special e f f o r t s directed toward a s s i s t i n g the older person to p a r t i c i p a t e i n s o c i a l programs; they attached p a r t i c u l a r importance to the place of personal contact by leaders who understood senior c i t i z e n s and to the need f o r club rooms where the senior c i t i z e n s might enjoy games and music.  Three  ministers were of the opinion that special e f f o r t s were unnecessary.  -20-  The questionnaire  directed to the ministers i n  Area A asked f o r t h e i r opinions as to the need f o r additional recreational f a c i l i t i e s i n the areas served by t h e i r churches. The majority of them r e p l i e d that they were aware of such needs and l i s t e d as the most important the need f o r a reading room, a recreation room, a day centre and club rooms operated especially f o r senior c i t i z e n s .  One minister i n Area A  reported that he did not see any need for any l e i s u r e time activity. Living Conditions and the People i n Area B: Area B, l i k e Area A, i s characterized by marked differences i n housing standards and income l e v e l s of the.residents.  The section from Main Street to Cambie Street  i s primarily one of older homes that have been converted to rooming houses.  The section west of Cambie Street i s grad-  u a l l y being f i l l e d with large and expensive apartment b u i l d ings that are replacing private dwellings and rooming houses. These differences are p a r t i c u l a r l y noticeable north of Seventh Avenue to the water front, where from Main Street to Burrard Street the housing shows severe signs of b l i g h t , while west of Burrard many large and comfortable .apartment dwellings have arisen i n the past f i f t e e n years.  As i n  Area A, i t i s not uncommon to f i n d i n these t r a n s i t i o n a l d i s t r i c t s large apartment buildings side by side with deteriorated rooming houses. Occupations and incomes i n the area range from those of semi-skilled and u n s k i l l e d labourers to those of  semi-professional and professional people, the majority of the l a t t e r being found i n the western section of the area i n either private homes or apartments.  The incidence of  people who enjoy very high incomes i s much smaller i n t h i s area than i n Area A.  Among the other members of the popu-  l a t i o n a sizeable number have l i v e d i n the area most of t h e i r working l i v e s .  There are i n addition a growing  number of pensioners who have moved into the area from the West End and Downtown d i s t r i c t s .  This movement of older  people into the area has been p a r t i c u l a r l y pronounced during the l a s t f i v e or .six years and i s obviously ;  connected  with the numerous demolitions that have taken place i n the West End and Downtown d i s t r i c t s .  Many of the buildings  demolished were formerly rooming houses which provided r e l a t i v e l y cheap accommodation f o r pensioners who have been forced to seek alternative accommodation i n other cheap rental areas i n the c i t y , one of which consists of the easterly part of Area B. Recreational Resources i n Area B. Area B d i f f e r s from the other area surveyed i n that i t has fewer recreational resources than are available to the city as a whole.  An important one, however, i s the K i t s i l a n o  Beach which besides i t s bathing f a c i l i t i e s has a community program that includes the "Show Boat."  The "Show Boat" i s  an outdoor stage on which are presented programs provided by various amateur t h e a t r i c a l and concert groups i n the c i t y . The productions are free to spectators and are, accordingly,  -22well patronized  by o l d age  pensioners.  On the other hand, Area B has organized  considerably  more  l e i s u r e time programs f o r i t s r e s i d e n t s , but  f i n d i n g s o f the  survey i n d i c a t e t h a t only i n a few  the:  instances  have s p e c i a l p r o v i s i o n s been made f o r the needs of the citizens.  senior  Resources such as K i t s i l a n o Community Centre,  the Jewish Community Centre and Alexandra Neighbourhood House make some e f f o r t s .to p r o v i d e  programs f o r s e n i o r  c i t i z e n s , w i t h the Neighbourhood House making the most concrete e f f o r t s .  This program w i l l be d i s c u s s e d more f u l l y  i n a l a t e r chapter.  The  Community Centre has  much response i n i t s attempts to organize s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , but has make use  not met  with  programs f o r the  found that a small group of them  o f the F i e l d House i n Connaught Park,.a p a r t  the Centre's p h y s i c a l p l a n t . t h e i r own  The men  of  i n t h i s group-arrange  r e c r e a t i o n a l program which c o n s i s t s c h i e f l y  chess games or cards.  The  Jewish Community Centre o f f e r s  a d e f i n i t e program f o r i t s s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , but been p o s s i b l e to o b t a i n much i n f o r m a t i o n Other resources  of  i t has  not'  about t h i s program.  i n the area t h a t meet some o f  the  needs o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s are commercial t h e a t r e s , o f which there are f o u r o f f e r i n g moderately p r i c e d admission, and library.  The  theatres  but the l i b r a r y must be  are w e l l p a t r o n i z e d  i s over-crowded and has  shared w i t h c h i l d r e n and,  by  senior  citizens,  small q u a r t e r s  therefore,  the  a  which  senior  c i t i z e n s f i n d t h i s to be of only l i m i t e d v a l u e . As  i n Area A,  i t was  found t h a t the  senior  citizens  -23of Area B made use  o f resources  t h a t are not p r i m a r i l y  designed to meet r e c r e a t i o n a l needs. Area B are the a u c t i o n houses. the area and  C h i e f among these i n  Three o f these are found i n  s e n i o r c i t i z e n s f i n d them to be warm, p l e a s a n t  establishments  i n which they can observe the p r o g r e s s of  s a l e s without having to make purchases. The  Churches' R e c r e a t i o n a l  Programs f o r the Aged i n Area  .There are twenty-nine churches o f v a r i o u s nations  i n Area B.  A l l the m i n i s t e r s were sent a  n a i r e , ten of which were r e t u r n e d . ing  to the q u e s t i o n n a i r e  reported  between f i f t y and five.  Three m i n i s t e r s  t h a t i t was  number o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s a t t e n d i n g .  one  exception,  under twentyapproximate  F i f t y per  cent of  changed over the past  f i v e years.  an i n c r e a s e over the f i v e y e a r p e r i o d  some o f the m i n i s t e r s o b s e r v i n g  t r e n d was  apparent among young members o f the  m i n i s t e r reported  congregation. had senior  the l o s s of members through death.  churches vary  reported  was  t h a t the number o f o l d e r people  In Area B, as i n Area A, by the  With  that a s i m i l a r  decreased and have as the cause, the m o b i l i t y o f the c i t i z e n s and  the  that the number o f o l d people i n  reported,  One  reply-  a s u b s t a n t i a l number of  Other m i n i s t e r s f a i l e d to i n d i c a t e the  the congregation had  question-  hundred, f o u r s a i d i t was  one hundred, one  ministers reporting f e l t  denomi-  A l l the m i n i s t e r s  senior c i t i z e n s i n t h e i r congregations. gave the number to be over one  B.  the program o f f e r e d  from church to church.  Six ministers,  t h a t they have some l e i s u r e time program.  F i v e of  -24t h e s e p r o g r a m s were d e s c r i b e d activities  T h e r e was o n l y  f o r senior  The a c t i v i t i e s  associations,  women's m i s s i o n a r y  the meetings o r a s s o c i a t i o n s . and t h e a t r i c a l  o f the nature o f  group.  Other  women's a u x i l i a r i e s ,  b i b l e classes, missionary  The c h o i r was a t t a c h e d  but  t h e n a t u r e o f t h e membership was n o t g i v e n . Five ministers  reporting  t h e members o f t h e i r  mothers'  meetings  a choir.  church  were  activities  and  special  listed  p e r f o r m a n c e s i n a c h u r c h a t t e n d e d by  m e n t i o n e d were men's c l u b s ,  that  in his  s o c i e t i e s and m e e t i n g s .  Other a c t i v i t i e s  members o f a p a r t i c u l a r e t h n i c  f e l l o w s h i p meetings,  citizens  a  i n d i c a t e d were women's  T h e r e was, however, no d e s c r i p t i o n g i v e n  stated  social  one m i n i s t e r who r e p o r t e d  leisure-time, activity  congregation.  clubs  as  w h i c h were o p e n t o a l l a d u l t members o f t h e  congregation. special  by t h e m i n i s t e r s  to a Lutheran  from  church,  churches i n Area  B  c o n g r e g a t i o n s h a v e made  e f f o r t s to encourage t h e o l d e r people to a t t e n d s e r v i c e s and t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h e l i f e  I n one c a s e t r a n s p o r t a t i o n  t o c h u r c h was p r o v i d e d  m o t h e r s who were a l o n e on M o t h e r ' s Day. a t t e m p t s m e n t i o n e d were p e r s o n a l  i n the congregation.  f o r older  Other s p e c i a l  invitations,  p e n s i o n e r s a s p e c i a l welcome a n d h e l p i n g they have a p l a c e  o f the church.  giving the  them t o f e e l  that  The i m p o r t a n c e o f  t r a n s p o r t a t i o n was s t r e s s e d by one c h u r c h where t h e p r o v i s i o n of the  t h i s h a d r e s u l t e d i n t h e a t t e n d a n c e o f more o l d p e o p l e a t services.  efforts  One m i n i s t e r  were u n n e c e s s a r y ,  upon w h i c h h i s o p i n i o n s  was o f t h e o p i n i o n  b u t he f a i l e d  were  based.  to give  that  special  the reasons  -25Opinions varied  o f t h e m i n i s t e r s r e p o r t i n g from A r e a  as to whether s p e c i a l  efforts  were n e e d e d t o e n c o u r a g e  o l d e r p e r s o n s t o p a r t i c i p a t e more f u l l y  i n the r e c r e a t i o n  provided  by t h e c h u r c h e s .  t i e s was  s t r e s s e d and a l s o t h e d e s i r a b i l i t y  special  The n e e d f o r r e c r e a t i o n a l f a c i l i -  rooms f o r s e n i o r c i t i z e n s  c h u r c h e s do a n d c a n a f f o r d  The  p r o v i s i o n o f t r a n s p o r t a t i o n was  conveying wanted.  to the o l d people  and c a r e f u l  Usually  s p e c i a l accommodation. seen as an  effective  a n d a l s o a s a way o f  the f e e l i n g  t h a t they  One o f t h e m i n i s t e r s h a d f o u n d  most w i l l i n g t i o n was  this  to church,  of providing  t o meet i n .  the  means o f g e t t i n g p e o p l e  the pensioners  social  senior citizens  for  r e c r e a t i o n a l rooms w h i c h c o u l d be e s p e c i a l l y  The  Role  Recrea-  These men  saw a n e e d assigned to  T h i s n e e d , h o v e v e r , was n o t s e e n by a l l  i n Area  B.  o f the O l d Peoples A special  of eleven  by two m i n i s t e r s .  the  adjustment o f  the  ministers  were  workers around the church.  s e e n a s a medium f o r h a p p i e r  the p e n s i o n e r s .  B  Organizations  q u e s t i o n n a i r e was m a i l e d  Old Peoples  Organizations,  to the executives  (see appendix  ) The  purpose of t h i s  q u e s t i o n n a i r e was t o d i s c o v e r what s o r t o f  provision  o r g a n i z a t i o n s made f o r r e c r e a t i o n , a n d t o  these  d e t e r m i n e what recreational three  ggniorfcii?ize.nscc.ohMdered;;.to.lbe  needs.  Only  five  important  q u e s t i o n n a i r e s were  f r o m A r e a A, a n d two f r o m A r e a  n a i r e s were s e n t t o v a r i o u s t y p e s  B.  Since  o f o l d age  g r o u p s a n d s i n c e t h e r e s p o n s e s were v e r y  returned,  these  question-  pensioners  unevenly  distributed  -26between Area A and Area B, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to make any com p a r i s o n s between the two a r e a s .  I t was t h e r e f o r e d e c i d e d to  combine the f i n d i n g s o f t h e f i v e q u e s t i o n n a i r e s f o r purposes of examination  and i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , without making s p e c i f i c  r e f e r e n c e to the areas i n which the o r g a n i z a t i o n s a r e l o c a t e d . Since three o f the f i v e groups r e p l y i n g were a f f i l i a t e s o f the B. C. Pensioners  O r g a n i z a t i o n , and s i n c e membership i n  these a f f i l i a t e branches i s n o t dependent on area o f r e s i dence o f the member, the responses i n these  three  question-  n a i r e s cannot be c o n s i d e r e d t r u l y r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f s e n i o r citizens living  i n a s p e c i f i c geographical  area.  R e p l i e s were r e c e i v e d from three branches o f the Old Age Pensioners  O r g a n i z a t i o n , one F r i e n d l y A i d S o c i e t y ,  and one r e t i r e d employee p e n s i o n e r group.  The two groups  r e p l y i n g from Area B were branches o f the O l d Age Pensioners O r g a n i z a t i o n , while only one branch o f t h i s o r g a n i z a t i o n replied  from Area A, but the two o t h e r groups t h a t  replied  were from Area A. Old Afce Pensioners  Organization.  The t h r e e d i s t r i c t branches r e p l y i n g t o the q u e s t i o n n a i r e r e p o r t e d t h a t they were e s t a b l i s h e d between the years 1953  to 1955.  Membership i n the branches was as f o l l o w s : Men  Women  Club A .  50  185  Club B  38  50  231  56  Club c:  The purpose of the branches i s s t a t e d as a wish t o improve the l i v i n g  c o n d i t i o n s and f i n a n c i a l standards o f  -27penslbners.  While t h i s stated purpose tends,  to the r e p l i e s r e c e i v e d ,  according  to l e a d the groups i n t o  social action that frequently includes p o l i t i c a l all  three groups i n d i c a t e d t h a t  they  served a  purpose of p r o v i d i n g r e c r e a t i o n a l o u t l e t s One g r o u p r e p o r t e d a f a i r l y  activity,  secondary  f o r members.  e x t e n s i v e program c e n t e r e d  c l u b r o o m s p r o v i d e d by a c h u r c h . e x a m i n e d more f u l l y  strong  in  T h i s g r o u p ' s program i s  i n another chapter.  A second group  r e p o r t e d t w i c e - m o n t h l y meetings devoted to b u s i n e s s and recreation, while  c h i e f l y of the passive  the t h i r d group r e p o r t e d t h a t  special film  entertainment  type,  such a c t i v i t i e s  as  showings and f r i e n d s h i p meetings as w e l l  the r e g u l a r general  as  meetings.  Although the q u e s t i o n n a i r e i n c l u d e d questions a b o u t t h e s e n i o r c i t i z e n s ' o p i n i o n s a b o u t unmet r e c r e a t i o n a l needs,  the responses  to these questions suggest t h a t  s e n i o r c i t i z e n s were more c o n c e r n e d a b o u t n e e d s  the  other  t h a n r e c r e a t i o n a l , w i t h t h e r e s u l t t h a t no d e f i n i t e o p i n i o n s about r e c r e a t i o n a l needs were e l i c i t e d . . the main,  the responses  In  i n d i c a t e d t h a t m a t e r i a l n e e d s were  o f p r e d o m i n a n t i m p o r t a n c e and tended to overshadow  the  needs f o r l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t y . b.  The F r i e n d l y A i d S o c i e t y This  some y e a r s , sixty.  society,  w h i c h has been i n e x i s t e n c e  for  has a m i x e d membership o f t h r e e hundred and  I t s purposes are  s i m i l a r t o t h o s e o f t h e O l d Age  Pensioners O r g a n i z a t i o n s , but i n a d d i t i o n ,  the  group  -28reports that i t serves certain recreational purposes. These are described as friendship groups interested in music, old-time dancing, theology, politics and current events.  The group also has an active program of v i s i t i n g  sick members and their families.  The groups members  provide encouragement and advice to those who are sick or in distress, and one feels that this form of activity has recreational values for the members. Membership in this group consists to a large extent of people who  claim pioneer status.  While this is  not a prerequisite for membership, a large sub-group does enjoy this particular status. g>  A" Retired Employee Group This group, which was established in 1938, is  of particular interest in that i t has a membership of eight hundred men and one hundred and f i f t y women. A l l members are former employees of a large company, and a l l have retired on company pensions.  The company maintains  an active interest in this group, providing club room f a c i l i t i e s and occasional special events.  The i d e n t i f i -  cation with the company by former employees who  still  have a pride in the progress of the company, together with the fact that many of the members have worked together for years, makes this a particularly  cohesive  group. Retirement for these members also carries status and economic security, with the result that the club serves a more recreative function than the others discussed here.  -29Recreation monthly  meetings  a c t i v i t i e s of  which  there as  such  are  is  a  with as  special  cards,  available  reading  opportunity  d.  resources  A Men's  for  male  i n  large  this  by  group  table past  of  winter,  creation to  deal  older this  being  as  other  well members.  representative  and  the  citizens need  become  musical  for  this  have  and  week  were and  was a  here  for  For  this  such  During  given  i n  the  over  attendance  as  to at  these  excellent.  received  that  mentioned  for  the  aged,  with  the  overall  to  for  program  a c t i v i t i e s  films.  i n  designed  housed  apparent.  for  sent  even  been  recreational  reply  program,  program  that  alone,  Because  men's  hostel  made  programs  being  large  of  increasingly been  a  It  citizens  as  to  here.  senior  population.  addition,  members with  a l l  offered  a  people.  f i c a l l y  for  In  recreational  evenings  few  organized  b i l l i a r d s ,  rooms.  sent  two  reported  the  was  some  was  p r o v i s i o n has  for  club  available  since  senior  has  The of  A,  the  games,  films  and  informal meetings  citizens  years  reason,  was  Area  group  recent  include  Hostel  senior  reported  group  entertainment,  the  A'questionnaire hostel  this  bowling  in  room  i n  and  of  though serve  by  this  i n s t i t u t i o n was unmet  discussed  problem t h i s , the  of  one  needs  group's  recreation  mention  is  needs  not of  reattempt  for  made  i n s t i t u t i o n is  recreational  i n  one  these  here  of  specithe  aged  -30-  Summary In both Area A"and Area B, i t was noted that recreational resources for senior citizens were of two main types according to their function in the community. One type of resource was designed to meet recreational needs of the specific area, while a second type was designed to serve a much larger population, but the residents of both areas made use of these as well as of the f i r s t type. Among the f i r s t type are agencies such as the Gordon Neighbourhood House in Area A'and the Alexander Neighbourhood House In Area B.  Area B tended to have  slightly more such resources than A r  e a  A, notably the  Kitsilano Community Centre and the Jewish Community Centre. With respect to resources available to the city as a whole, however, Area A\had a preponderence of these, while Area B had only a few such resources.  In Area A\were found such  resources as Stanley P ark with a l l its recreational f a c i l i t i e s , the Georgia Auditorium, the Main Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, and a great number of commercial recreation f a c i l i t i e s such as movie theatre s, bowling alleys, etc.  Area B had the Kitsilano Pool re-  sources and a much smaller number of commercial recreational resources than Area A.  The theatres in Area B were more  e xtensively utilized by Senior citizens than were those in Area A, chiefly because the cost of such recreation in Area A ' i s rather prohibitive for people on limited income.  -31In both Area A and Area IE It was found that senior c i t i z e n s made f u l l use of informal recreational resources.  Such f a c i l i t i e s as auction houses, railway  and shipping terminals and small parks were used by the senior c i t i z e n s as meeting places and as places where they can p a r t i c i p a t e i n the day-by-day happenings of the c i t y without too much cost. A. questionnaire was c i r c u l a t e d to key people i n ?  a-number of churches and senior c i t i z e n s organizations 1  in both areas i n an e f f o r t to determine the special roles of these types of agency i n the areas being surveyed. Approximately forty per cent of the churches  approached  r e p l i e d and responses indicated that the churches i n both areas vary considerably from one communion to another i n the amount of provision they make f o r recreation f o r the senior c i t i z e n s .  There was no s i g n i f i c a n t difference as  between Area A and- Area EE i n the churches' interest i n recreation f o r senior c i t i z e n s ; what differences there were, we re associated with i n d i v i d u a l churches rather than t h i s type of area and ranged from complete lack of Interest to active and constructive concern.  The churches  that r e p l i e d to the questionnaire gave l i t t l e clear recommendation as to the needs of the aged f o r recreational services, but most referred to the obvious need f o r an expansion of programs.  The responses to questionnaires  seemed to r e f l e c t the churches' concern about the physical  -32needs  of  senior  citizens  whelming nature emotional not  of  problem,  and leisures-time  objectively The  the  this  and because  senior  citizens'  were  even  recreational  needs w i t h the i  this  the  All  of  senior  dicated their  the  purpose.  to  secondary  social  senior as  action  citizens'  leisure  of  sufficient  necessary  observation e  by  being  xperienced  interviews,  most  recreation  a  group  findings  of  was  part  of  group,  primary  of  was  with  concern.  The  concerned w i t h  a n d one  very  large  group  former  inof the  political  more  of  to  considered  were  replies  to  themselves  the  to  other recreation  seemed  to  employment  supplement  questionnaires  provide  and resources  programs  clearer of  this  chapter.  replies  however,  recreation  the  to  inconclusive.  this  a rounded  i n the  and w i t h i n t e r v i e w s  picture  agencies part  of  two  be and  of  was  the  existing  further  survey  are  were picture  areas,  information with  i n working with older people.  selected  next  their  replied,  common i n t e r e s t  needs  to  of  that  function of  the  recreational  was  that  i n regard  to  time.  Since not  were  replying  three, d i s t r i c t branches  groups  formed around the of  these people  were  Organization,  an end i n i t s e l f ,  use  tangible  specific  result  groups  I n the  Pensioners  and  less  p r o v i s i o n of  O l d Age be a  of  less  over-  organizations  questionnaire  citizens'  that  needs  the  considered.  questionnaire  part  the  of  i t  personal  with  persons  From  these  program  obtained. reported  in  a  The ih  the  CHAPTER I I I SOME SPECIFIC RECREATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS In o r d e r to g i v e a more rounded p i c t u r e o f the programs o f f e r e d by some o f the community agencies  mentioned  i n Chapter I I , v i s i t s were made to two Neighbourhood Houses and  to c e r t a i n clubs o r g a n i z e d by the Old Age Pensioners'  group and by the Churches.  The choice o f programs f o r  d e s c r i p t i o n was made on the b a s i s o f t h e i r  representativeness  o f the kinds o f r e c r e a t i o n a l resources a v a i l a b l e f o r the; aged i n the two areas  studied.  The d e s c r i p t i o n s which  f o l l o w a r e d e r i v e d from p e r s o n a l o b s e r v a t i o n o f t h e c l u b s ' a c t i v i t i e s and from i n t e r v i e w s with key people  i n the v a r i o u s  programs. L e i s u r e Time A c t i v i t i e s Provided Pensioners'  by a Branch o f the O l d Age  O r g a n i z a t i o n ; Area A  The branch s e l e c t e d f o r more comprehensive i s one l o c a t e d i n the downtown s e c t i o n o f Area A.  study  I t serves  a l a r g e p o p u l a t i o n o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s who r e s i d e i n the e a s t e r n end o f the area; membership, however, i s not r e s t r i c t e d to those l i v i n g w i t h i n the area and people l i v i n g i n other p a r t s o f the c i t y a r e f r e e to j o i n .  T h i s branch enjoys  the f a c i l i -  t i e s o f a c l u b room p r o v i d e d f r e e o f charge by a l a r g e A n g l i c a n Church and because of t h i s i s a b l e to o f f e r serveces to i t s members f o r the g r e a t e r p a r t o f each day.  The branch a l s o  has the use o f t h e l a r g e church h a l l f o r g e n e r a l meetings  -34which are  so  well  attended  overcrowd  the  club  The  clubroom  is  a  room,  fireplace,  cumbersome nishings  a  c l u b memberscdo  special  care  i n using  including  two  furniture  to  branch.  The  additional  radios  seriously  main b u i l d i n g of It  not  storage  t h e i r use feel  club of  any  the  hopes  for  space.  It  hoped  the  present  room and t o  to  need  meet  to  a  obtain it  furthe  to  exercise  Interested to  set.  Church to  The  inasmuch as  be  the  club  Offers by  of  friends  able  to  smaller  room  to  of  the  obtain  increasing  available  i  well-worn  space.  b e made  soon  make  of  furniture  to  the-.  a medium-sized  facilities.  continue  i n the  is  great  and a t e l e v i s i o n  club  is  for  most  executive  space  the  entrance.  the  donated  the  would  a preponderance  appropriate  have  of  and ample  elderly  citizens  part  separate  furniture,  are  they  room.  Church but has having  that  demands adjoining  women  members  only. The executive elected  to  secretary, president serve  council, the  monthly  the  has  its  positions  various  branch.  meetings  of  of  is  for  committees  four  by  namely,  and r a d i o ,  an  representatives vice  president,  In addition,  which have for  the  f o u r members been  of  the  two m a i n r e c r e a t i o n a l activities  opportunity  for  to  organized  attending  a l l members  sedentary  and the  d i r e c t i o n of  appointing  Responsibility assumed  the  president,  branch offers  members,  television  consisting  responsibility  This for  under  a n d one m e m b e r - a t - l a r g e .  on the  within  branch operates  regular executive. outlets  such as social  games,  -35i n t e r c o u r s e and a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e d to food are is  served d a i l y .  centered around food.  Activities  s t r u c t u r e d around afternoon tea which  Members pay a s m a l l f e e  to cover  the  c o s t s of t e a and l i g h t foods and, i n a d d i t i o n , s u p e r v i s e daily  arrangements  f o r p r e p a r i n g and s e n v i n g the  the  refreshments.  I n t h e e a r l y d a y s o f t h e c l u b , members d e p e n d e d o n donations to p r o v i d e refreshments, u n c e r t a i n arrangement  the fee  t h i s was a n  a n d s i n c e f o o d was e x t r e m e l y  f o r many o f t h e members a s the day,  but s i n c e  i t was t h e i r o n l y h o t m e a l i n  a r r a n g e m e n t was f i n a l l y a g r e e d u p o n .  The m o n t h l y g e n e r a l m e e t i n g s a l t h o u g h  specifically  d e s i g n e d to c a r r y out the b u s i n e s s o f the b r a n c h , recreational executive. consists  f u n c t i o n w h i c h i s r e c o g n i z e d by t h e  serve a branch  The p r o g r a m o f t h e g e n e r a l m e e t i n g u s u a l l y  o f l u n c h e o n , f o l l o w e d by a " s i n g - s o n g " .  business of the meeting i s then d e a l t w i t h , of  committees,  after  which there  o p i n i o n s on a v a r i e t y  of  is a general  On o c c a s i o n s ,  subjects  q u e s t i o n and  and f i l m the  has been a b l e to  the monthly meetings.  societies  on d i f f e r e n t  occasions.  Films  The e x p e r i e n c e  of  schools depicting  senior  the v a r i o u s e x e c u t i v e  h a s b e e n t h a t members o f t h i s b r a n c h p r e f e r p a s s i v e i n most i n s t a n c e s ,  arrange  The  c a l l e d upon c h o i r s , d a n c i n g and b a l l e t  " o l d c o u n t r y " a r e v e r y much f a v o r e d by t h e  citizens.  voice  o f t h e i r own c h o o s i n g .  the e x e c u t i v e  f o r outside entertainment at  The  including reports  a n s w e r s e s s i o n i n w h i c h members a r e e n c o u r a g e d t o  b r a n c h has  important  members recreation  except f o r group s i n g i n g i n which t h e r e  is excellent participation.  -36-  T h i s branch o f f e r s an a d d i t i o n a l s e r v i c e which, while not r e c r e a t i o n a l i n nature,  does n e v e r t h e l e s s  the members i n some o f t h e i r r e c r e a t i o n a l needs.  serve  This i s  a c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e s t a f f e d on a v o l u n t e e r b a s i s by the members o f the e x e c u t i v e .  Members may b r i n g p e r s o n a l  prob-  lems t o the c o u n s e l l o r and o b t a i n advice on any matters t h a t concern them.  Questions c h i e f l y concern accommodation and  h i g h r e n t a l s , the problems o f making-do on a- l i m i t e d income , 1  misunderstandings w i t h occasions  "love  " c o l d " s o c i a l workers, and on  affairs".  In the same v e i n as the c o u n s e l l i n g s e r v i c e , but' more r e l a t e d to the m a t e r i a l w e l l - b e i n g a c l o t h i n g centre operated  o f the members i s  by the branch.  This service i s  dependent on g i f t s from f r i e n d s o f the branch, and i s w e l l p a t r o n i z e d by members. Although t h i s branch u t i l i z e s church it  i s i n no way a f f i l i a t e d w i t h the church.  facilities,  Nevertheless,  the church has n o t i c e d an i n c r e a s e i n attendance o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s a t s e r v i c e s s i n c e the c l u b commenced o p e r a t i o n s . Many o f these new members o f the church a r e members o f the. c l u b and have probably  been a t t r a c t e d to the church because  of i t s acceptance o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s as a group. The  Happy Hours  A second resource Happy Hours Club.  Club. s e l e c t e d f o r study was the  T h i s i s a l s o l o c a t e d i n the downtown  s e c t i o n " o f Area A, but serves a much s m a l l e r segment o f the p o p u l a t i o n than does the Old Age Pensioners'  branch.  The  -37Glub operates under the auspices of a Church situated i n Area A"and offers recreational f a c i l i t i e s to some f i f t y to seventy elderly men  and women resident within the immediate  neighbourhood of the Church.  A'meeting place i s available  in the attractively-decorated Church h a l l and  reportedly  lends i t s e l f to a f e e l i n g of be longing on the part of club membe r s . Although membership i s open to a l l , the members have re mained f a i r l y constant equally divided between men  over the years and almost  and women, most of whom are  lonely people having few i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r e s t s . New-comers are rare and a f t e r once attending, tend to remain, with the result that they form a close homogeneous group with common interests. Meetings which are held during the afternoon a weekly basis are not formally structured.  on  Responsibility  for program arrangement i s assumed by the organizer of the club, a member of the congregation of the church who his  services on a  the same pattern. was  voluntary basis.  gives  Meetings usually follow  They open with a short devotional, which  arranged o r i g i n a l l y at the request of the membership,  and includes a short sermon and two or three f a m i l i a r hymns. of two  This period of worship i s followed by the showing films, one of which i s educational and the other a  travelogue, and both of which seem to be enjoyed by the club members and frequently provide topics f o r  conversation.  -38-  T.ea, which i s prepared by the Ladies' A u x i l i a r y of the congregation, i s served by the members of the club and for those who can afford to pay, the cost i s ten cents. Members making t h i s f i n a n c i a l contribution are l i s t e d and regarded as u n o f f i c i a l l y constituting the club membership. It has been noted by the organizers that the majority of the senior c i t i z e n s prefer':" to donate regularly to t h i s fund and appear to derive a feeling of independence from doing so.  The informality of the tea-hour i t s e l f provides  a comfortable medium for the f r i e n d l y conversation which i s so important to many of the aged people whose l i v e s tend to be isolated and devoid of family companionship. In affording an opportunity for s o c i a l i n t e r course for a selected group of senior c i t i z e n s ,  the club  would seem to be meeting a very d e f i n i t e need judging from the regularity of attendance.on the part of i t s members. Although the Happy Hour Club i s sponsored by the congregation of* the Church, no attempts have been made to encourage the club members to attend Sunday Services, although they are always made welcome i f they do att'e nd. It has been obse rved by Church o f f i c i a l s that club members i n general do not belong to the congregation, nor do they attend morning service.  However, the evening service, which  has been described as somewhat evangelical i n character, attracts a large number of senior c i t i z e n s including club membe r s .  -39Gordon House Gordon House, located i n the West End Section of Area A, i s a Neighbourhood House which i s sponsored and financed by the Community Chest and Council.  It i s  organized f o r the s p e c i f i c purpose of providing recreational a c t i v i t i e s f o r selected groups of c i t i z e n s resident within t h i s area.  The House i s open to the members between the  hours of 9:00 a.m. days a week.  and 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:30 p.m. s i x  Professional s o c i a l work s t a f f i s employed  to supervise and f a c i l i t a t e program a c t i v i t i e s . Included i n the group served by t h i s recreational Centre are approximately four hundred senior c i t i z e n s , most of whom l i v e i n i t s immediate v i c i n i t y .  Membership  i s o f f i c i a l l y r e s t r i c t e d to residents of the West End, but regulations are s u f f i c i e n t l y f l e x i b l e to permit continuance of attendance f o r former residents who have moved from the area but have continued to maintain t h e i r interest i n the a c t i v i t i e s and associations which the Centre o f f e r s . Because of the preponderance of aged people within the membership of Gordon House, care has been taken to accommodate a l l t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i n quarters e n t i r e l y separate from Junior House which caters to the recreational needs of children i n t h i s area.  This arrangement was  planned deliberately i n order to ^avoid. disharmony and any need f o r unnecessary r e s t r i c t i o n s f o r two large groups of members whose ages, interests and a c t i v i t i e s d i f f e r widely.  -40-  The program f o r Senior Citizens includes r e creational games, s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s and special i n t e r e s t and hobby groups.  The supe r v i s o r of the program f o r  Senior Citizens i s a member of the professional s t a f f of the Centre and i s responsible for encouraging p a r t i c i p a t i o n by the membership i n as many of the e x i s t i n g programs as they wish, as well as f o r providing opportunities f o r the development of new programs. Each group and program i s organized by an executive which i s elected from the membership and i s responsible to i t . Each group maintains representation on the House Council, a governing body which i s empowered to make c e r t a i n decisions regarding the House and the programs available to the membership. Emphasis i s given to sponsoring a f e e l i n g of p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n community l i f e on the part of the senior c i t i z e n s attending the Centre.  A wide variety of a c t i v i t i e s  i s offered f o r t h e i r enjoyment, a l l of which are designed s p e c i f i c a l l y to meet the frequently l i m i t e d physical capacity of older people.  These include carpet bowling,  square dancing, old time dancing, card games, such as bridge and cribbage, as well as c r a f t groups, discussion groups, and a glee club. A";major endeavour each year which involves the membership at a l l age l e v e l s i s the Spring Carnival. Carnival i s held at the Centre.  Considerable  This  responsibility  i s assumed by the Senior Citizens i n providing craft work  -41for sales, p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n advance sale of t i c k e t s , and i n painting and designing  posters to be used f o r  display and advertising purposes. In addition to having t h e i r recreational needs met,  Senior Citizens:also receive help at Gordon  House with problems"requiring expert counselling  services.  This help i s provided by trained s o c i a l workers who a thorough knowledge of may  be best used.  have  community resources and how  they  I t i s f r e quently concerned with such  matters as obtaining suitable accomodation or completing Old Age Assistance Applications and problems related thereto.. In evaluating  the response of the Senior Citizens  to various programs offereddby Gordon House, i t should be noted that former members who  have moved from the  d i s t r i c t are reluctant to give up t h e i r membership. Thesec-activities seem to meet the recreation needs of the senior c i t i z e n s .  I t i s also notable that rarely does a  member withdraw, but that, i n general,  termination  of  contact i s the r e s u l t of either an enforced move away from the d i s t r i c t , incapacitating i l l n e s s Old Age  or death.  Pensioners' Branch; Area B  The Branch selected for more comprehensive study i n Area B.-.Is located i n the K i t s i l a n o d i s t r i c t . It i s designed to serve the recreational and s o c i a l meeds of the elderly men  and women residing within  neighbourhood of' the K i t s i l a n o Community Centre. Centre's f a c i l i t i e s are available to the Old  Age  the The  -42Pensioners' Organization,  free of charge.  Such f a c i l i t i e s  include a room f o r the regular monthly meetings of the membership as well as the u n r e s t r i c t e d use of the Centre's Lounge on a d a i l y basis. Cbnnaught Park adjacent  In addition, the f i e l d house i n to the Community Centre has developed  into an u n o f f i c i a l meeting place f o r many of the elderly male members of the branch. Like the Old Age Pensioners' Branch selected f o r study i n Area/.A,, Ehe one i n Area B i s organized under the d i r e c t i o n of an executive  Council, consisting of four  elected representatives to the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and member at large.  In addition,  the president i s responsible f o r appointing a selected number of members to serve on the comittees which have been set up by the membership.  A l l members of the  executive  have r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r regular attendance at branch meetings which are held on one afternoon a month. Meetings are structured to include a business period followed by some form of sedentary entertainment, and concluding with informal discussion over tea and coffee. Emphasis i s placed on the benefits derived from regular attendance and the opportunity within one's own age group.  to form new  friendships  Members are encouraged to  meet together f o r s o c i a l purposes during the period between scheduled meetings. The only committee presently active i n the club i s one devoted to v i s i t i n g sick and infirm members  who,  because of t h e i r incapacities, are no longer able to  -43-  attend i n person.  Apart from t h i s , the membership has  indicated no p a r t i c u l a r interest i n the development of c r a f t , study or a c t i v i t y groups. In addition to providing accommodation, the K i t s i l a n o Community Centre has assumed some r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r attempting to meet i n other ways the recreational needs of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r group of senior c i t i z e n s .  The club  lounge i s available every day f o r reading, card playing or v i s i t i n g with friends.  EMlms are shown regularly free  of charge through the f a c i l i t i e s of the national Film Board. E f f o r t s such as these, however, are,not i n the opinion of the branch president s u f f i c i e n t l y adequate to a t t r a c t the majority of the members.  He noted that,  despite numerous complaints of loneliness, the lounge was seldom used and the films were poorly attended. On the other hand, as previously mentioned, the f i e l d house i n nearby Connaught Park Is regularly patronized by many of the male members.  According to the president,  they seem to f e e l more at ease i n the surroundings which i t affords and which are much less formal and elaborate than are those of the Community Centre. The matter of program planning has f o r some years constituted a problem f o r the executive. According to the president the membership, and more especially the women, have -been undecided as to what they want i n the way of a c t i v i t i e s .  Many members wish only to be enter-  tained and w i l l take l i t t l e r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r program arrangemement.  D i f f i c u l t y i s experienced i n obtaining  -44-  the services of entertainers, p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r the afternoon meetings; as a r e s u l t , the members must depend l a r g e l y on t h e i r own activities.  resources  f o r i n t e r e s t i n g and varied  I t would appear that the stimulation and  leadership necessary to inaugurate and maintain programs has to come from the executive or the president. Ah i n t e r e s t i n g side e f f e c t of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r organization has been the number of marriages between members which i t has sponsored.  During the  comparatively  few years of i t s existence some twenty couples have married. Ih most instances the partners were o r i g i n a l l y lonely and women devoid of close t i e s who,  men  through the medium of  the branch, found t h e i r own p a r t i c u l a r solutions to t h e i r problems. However, i n evaluating with the president  the  services of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r branch of the 0 Id Pensioners' Organization,  i t would appear that apart from l e s s e r benefits  such as the passing of time, i t i s f a i l i n g to meet adequately the recreational needs of a large proportion of i t s members. Ah Experimental Program Offered by a Church A somewhat unique service i n that i t caters primarily to the recreational needs of very aged and  often  infirm senior c i t i z e n s i s offered by a church located i n Area B.  Because of the advanced age and physical i n -  capacities of the majority of i t s members, the club i s as  -45unstructured and informal as possible i n i t s organization. Responsibility f o r programs and entertainment i s assumed by volunteer members of the congregation.  There are no  membership q u a l i f i c a t i o n s and membership i n the Church i s not required. This experimental program developed some years ago when a l a d i e s ' group of the congregation  extended  personal i n v i t a t i o n s to Christmas dinner to a l l known pensioners residing within the d i s t r i c t . c i t i z e n s responded  Eight senior  to the i n v i t a t i o n and, as a r e s u l t of  the success of t h i s dinner, i t was agreed that meetings for s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s should continue on a monthly basis. The club now has a membership of twenty-eight, drawn c h i e f l y from residents of boarding homes i n the district.  The majority of members are eighty years or  more and many have to be brought to meetings by t h e i r more able-bodied friends, some a r r i v i n g i n wheel chairs. In order to ensure attendance, each member i s reminded by l e t t e r of Impending meetings three days i n advance.  N o t i f i c a t i o n s include the date, place and time  of meeting.  The program commences with a r o l l c a l l i n  which members are required to reply by giving the names of vegetables.:or f r u i t rather than their, own names.  This  simple word game i s thoroughly enjoyed by the old people and does much to set the tone f o r the meeting.  Following  r o l l c a l l there i s a sing-song, and l a t e r a f i l m or other form of entertainment provided by guest a r t i s t s .  When no  such entertainment i s available the meeting i s devoted to simple games suitable to the l i m i t e d capacities of the  -46-  participants, followed by the serving of refreshments. A l l food i s donated, by the l a d i e s ' a u x i l i a r y of the church and served by them.  Care i s taken to ensure that the cakes and  cookies are home-baked and a t t r a c t i v e i n appearance. As i n the case of several of the clubs previously described, many of the members complain of loneliness and lack of a c t i v i t i e s .  Consequently, the church h a l l has been  made available once a week f o r a meeting of senior c i t i z e n s on the understanding, however, that no structured programs would'be provided.  A member of the congregation would be  present to open and close the h a l l , but apart from that would take no part i n the meetings.  At the time of writing, the  h a l l has been open i n the afternoons f o r three weeks, but the response so f a r has been poor. In assessing this program the sponsors are of the opinion that the weekly program meets the needs of a small, select group of senior c i t i z e n s who are sometimes forgotten by more elaborate programs. Alexandra Neighbourhood House. Alexandra Neighbourhood House, located i n the southwest section of Area B, i s a Neighbourhood House which i s sponsored and financed by the Community Chest and Council. It i s organized  f o r the s p e c i f i c purpose of providing rec-  reational a c t i v i t i e s for selected groups of c i t i z e n s resident within t h i s area.  In t h i s agency, as i n Gordon House, pro-  fessional s o c i a l work s t a f f i s employed to supervise and f a c i l i t a t e program a c t i v i t i e s .  -47Included i n the group served by t h i s Centre are approximately f i f t y are women.  recreational  s e n i o r c i t i z e n s a l l o f whom  The Neighbourhood House o f f e r s these women a  c l u b known by the name o f Sunny S e n i o r s .  I t i s designed to  serve the r e c r e a t i o n a l and s o c i a l needs o f the e l d e r l y women r e s i d i n g w i t h i n the d i s t r i c t o f Alexandra Neighbourhood House. The House makes a v a i l a b l e to the c l u b f o r t h e i r weekly meeting an a t t r a c t i v e l y p a i n t e d and comfortably f u r n i s h e d room f r e e of charge. The c l u b has an o r g a n i z e d program t h a t v a r i e s from week to week.  The program i n c l u d e s f i l m p r e s e n t a t i o n s , bingo,  conducted t o u r s to f a c t o r i e s , book t a l k s and c e l e b r a t i o n o f v a r i o u s f e s t i v e o c c a s i o n s d u r i n g the year.  The program i s  v a r i e d enough not to become too r o u t i n e , and y e t there i s a c o n t i n u i t y and r e g u l a r i t y i n the a c t i v i t i e s which enables the members to p l a n t h e i r attendance i n advance. A f t e r the program the members prepare and serve t h e i r own t e a , the refreshments being p r o v i d e d by the Centre. The c l u b operates under the d i r e c t i o n o f a group l e a d e r who i s a member o f the p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a f f o f Alexandra Neighbourhood House.  He i s r e s p o n s i b l e f o r arrangement o f  the programs i n accordance w i t h the wishes o f the members as w e l l as f o r p r o v i d i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r the development o f new programs. In a d d i t i o n to meeting the r e c r e a t i o n a l needs o f the members o f the c l u b , the Neighbourhood House has arranged f o r the s e r v i c e s o f an experienced caseworker to be a v a i l a b l e  on c e r t a i n days o f the week to any e l d e r l y p e r s o n r e q u i r i n g help w i t h p e r s o n a l  problems.  Assistance  i s given  i n finding  l i v i n g accommodation and boarding-home placements f o r those who need them.  Frequently  the concern i s w i t h such matters  as completing O l d Age A s s i s t a n c e o b t a i n i n g medical s e r v i c e s .  a p p l i c a t i o n s and i n  I f no concrete  help or s o l u t i o n  i s a v a i l a b l e sympathetic l i s t e n i n g and support i s g i v e n the person t o enable h e r to cope w i t h the s i t u a t i o n . In e v a l u a t i n g  the c l u b f o r the s e n i o r  citizens  at Alexandra Neighbourhood House, i t seems t h a t the membership and numbers have remained f a i r l y i s r a r e f o r a member to drop out.  constant  and that i t  From t h i s i t appears t h a t  the c l u b meets the r e c r e a t i o n a l needs o f the small, s e l e c t group o f women who a t t e n d i t . SUMMARY  •  In summary, p e r s o n a l key  people r e s p o n s i b l e  i n t e r v i e w s were h e l d w i t h  f o r s i x o f the r e c r e a t i o n a l programs  a v a i l a b l e t o s e n i o r c i t i z e n s i n Areas A and B. programs a r e organized  by O l d Age P e n s i o n e r s ' groups which,  however, a r e dependent upon such o u t s i d e churches and community centres are organized  Two o f the  resources  as c  f o r meeting q u a r t e r s ; two  by Neighbourhood Houses p r o v i d i n g c l u b rooms  f o r meetings, and two by Churches, which a l s o make space a v a i l a b l e f o r meetings. Membership v a r i e s from a small group o f twentye i g h t men and women o f very  advanced age and f a i r l y marked  p h y s i c a l i n f i r m i t y to a l a r g e group o f some four-hundred s e n i o r c i t i z e n s , the m a j o r i t y  o f whom p a r t i c i p a t e a c t i v e l y  -49i n one o r more aspects o f the agency's program. instances one  In f i v e  the membership i n c l u d e s both men and women; i n  i t i s r e s t r i c t e d to women. Program content d i f f e r s f a i r l y widely depending  upon the i n t e r e s t , p a r t i c i p a t i o n , and p h y s i c a l c a p a c i t y o f the membership as w e l l as upon the q u a l i t y o f l e a d e r s h i p available.  I t i s to be noted t h a t i n the one agency o f f e r i n g  a wide v a r i e t y o f a c t i v i t i e s ,  together  with p r o f e s s i o n a l  a s s i s t a n c e and d i r e c t i o n , the membership i s c o r r e s p o n d i n g l y high.  In a l l i n s t a n c e s ,  nantly  sedentary i n type;  opportunity  f o r informal  are organized  the programs -offered a r e predomia l l i n c l u d e refreshments and an conversation.  Two o f the program's  by agencies which a r e sponsored and f i n a n c e d  by the Community Chest and C o u n c i l , and which employ pro- " f e s s i o n a l s o c i a l workers. volunteers  Four a r e o r g a n i z e d  by unpaid  who have no p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a i n i n g i n e i t h e r s o c i a l  work o r r e c r e a t i o n a l The  f i n d i n g s o f t h i s p a r t o f the survey p o i n t t o  the f a c t that i n a l l i n s t a n c e s  the programs s t u d i e d meet  w i t h v a r y i n g degrees o f success the needs o f the s e n i o r c i t i z e n s f o r companionship within, t h e i r own age group. one  In  case, t h i s i s seen p r i m a r i l y as a side e f f e c t i n t h a t  members have met and married; a t the other  extreme i s the  response of approximately f o u r hundred aged men and women to the s t i m u l a t i n g and v a r i e d program o f f e r e d by a p r o g r e s s i v e Neighbourhood House.  The experience of t h i s agency suggests  -50-  t h a t the e x t e n s i o n and  programs to i n c l u d e a wider v a r i e t y o f a c t i v i t i e s and  more frequent and  by other groups of e x i s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s  meetings would do much t o s a t i s f y the emotional  l e i s u r e - t i m e needs o f s e n i o r c i t i z e n s w i t h i n the area.  Suggestions and recommendations f o r implementing such an extension, as w e l l as c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f some o f the l i m i t a t i o n s of e x i s t i n g s e r v i c e s , a r e contained  i n the f o l l o w i n g  chapter.  CHAPTER-; IV RECREATIONAL RESOURCES AMD NEEDS: THE SITUATION REVIEWED The findings discussed i n t h i s chapter are. based on an examination of two areas of the City of Vancouver. These areas were chosen because of the d i s t i n c t i v e socioeconomic c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s they exhibit and because each has a large population of o l d people l i v i n g within i t s boundaries.  The recreation resources available to the  senior c i t i z e n s i n both areas were studied through observation, questionnaire and interviews with key people and the two areas were subsequently compared.  P a r t i c u l a r programs  representative of the recreation resources i n two areas were then examined i n more d e t a i l with a view to determining t h e i r effectiveness i n meeting the needs of older people. Some Limitations' of the Survey Limitations i n the scope of the survey as well as i n the methods used f o r gathering Information r e s t r i c t the conclusions which can be drawn from the findings of the study.  For example the people who were interviewed  and the organizations which were examined do not represent a cross section of the elderly population.  The survey  tended to exclude two groups i n p a r t i c u l a r , those of a r e l a t i v e l y high socio-economic status and the elderly residents of boarding and nursing homes of which there are a large number i n the two areas studied. Accordingly, £he findings of the survey must be interpreted as r e l a t i n g primarily to older people of limited f i n a n c i a l means who  enjoy s u f f i c i e n t l y good health to enable them to p a r t i c i pate i n outside a c t i v i t i e s i f they so wish.  The study  has very l i t t l e to say about the recreational needs and satisfactions of the elderly persons who,  f o r one reason  or another choose not to engage i n group a c t i v i t i e s . Clearly, such persons must make up a sizeable number i n the elderly population as they do i n any age group and w i l l include those who  suffer no d i s t r e s s from  depending  upon t h e i r own resources as well as those who would benefit from wider human associations but lack the means, or the confidence or the s o c i a l s k i l l s necessary to seek them out.  Further research into the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of  both of these groups would y i e l d valuable information f o r the planning of community recreation services. A s i g n i f i c a n t omission from the present study i s an evaluation of the attitudes, expectations and satisfactions of the persons comprising the membership of the various groups and organizations surveyed.  The  study reports the opinions and suggestions of persons intimately connected with recreation programs f o r the aged and many of these persons are themselves recruited from the ranks of the elderly, but i t i s not inconceivable that the people p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n these a c t i v i t i e s have d i f f e r e n t views about what i s required from those held by the leaders and organizers. Although i t was not f e a s i b l e to include a p o l l of membership within the scope of the present study, a certain amount of l i g h t was thrown on t h i s subject i n the course of observing the actual operation of some of the programs.  -53-  Beside the l i m i t a t i o n s inherent i n the scopes of the survey, i t was  apparent as the study  progressed  that certain shortcomings i n the methods used forrcollecting  information would a f f e c t the r e l i a b i l i t y of the data  obtained.  For the most part, the response to the question-  naires was not favourable and there seemed to be two main reasons f o r t h i s .  F i r s t a lack of interest i n the subject  matter of the survey and second, a reluctance on the part of the respondents to provide information which might r e f l e c t adversely on the e f f o r t s which they were making to meet the recreational needs of older people.  In the  l i g h t of subsequent interviews with persons involved i n the programs, i t would seem more reasonable to a t t r i b u t e the poor response to lack of interest rather than embarrassment at the scarcity of services provided.  Within the  questionnaire i t s e l f there should have been some statement on the meaning attached to the term "recreation" f o r the purposes of the survey.  It i s probably that uncertainty  i n the minds of the respondents as to what could l e g i t i mately be considered as recreation caused some to withhold important  and useful material.  was generally misinterpreted. was  One question, question # 2 , The question's intention  to obtain the number of senior c i t i z e n s attending the  services, but i t was  interpreted as r e f e r r i n g to the age  groups of the members of the  congregations.  The response to the follow-up interviews  was  generally more satisfactory, although even i n these i t was  -54apparent that f o r some of the persons interviewed the recreational needs of older people were of only incidental interest.  In such cases, the problems of Immediate and  major concern tended to center on either the economic or s p i r i t u a l needs of the aged, and preoccupation with these frequently prevented an objective discussion i n the i n t e r views of the recreational interests of the aged. In summary, the present study has been more successful i n r a i s i n g questions than i n providing d e f i n i t e answers concerning the leisure-time needs.and s a t i s f a c t i o n s of older people.  Some of these questions are enlarged  upon i n l a t e r sections of the chapter, but i t i s clear that any adequate treatment of them must wait upon more intensive study. The Nature and Extent of Existing Recreational Resources It was found that the recreational resources- i n both areas were of two main types; those directed  specifi-  c a l l y toward the people l i v i n g i n the area and those serving the whole city and even the metropolitan area. These resources are operated under public and private auspices, commercial and non-commercial; i n some the recreational purpose i s primary while i n others i t i s incidental to other a c t i v i t i e s .  There are resources designed  specifi-  c a l l y f o r senior c i t i z e n s and others catering to people of a l l ages, but used:to a greater or less extent by senior c i t i z e n s .  -55-  Special account was  taken of the recreational  services provided by the churches and pensioners' ations.  It was  organiz-  found that these services are r e l a t i v e l y  few i n number i n the two areas studied and that p a r t i c i p a tion i n them by old people varies considerably, depending upon the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of each l o c a l community and degree of leadership provided i n each instance.-  the  There were  indications i n both areas of increasing concern on the part of church groups f o r the recreational needs of older people, but i t was pensioners'  evident f o r the most part that the  organizations were providing most of the leader-  ship i n planning and arranging programs.  The statements  of leaders i n the senior c i t i z e n s ' organizations an i n t e r e s t i n g commentary on t h i s s i t u a t i o n .  provide  They point  out that the purpose of t h e i r organization i s not primarily recreation and that recreational a c t i v i t i e s i n these groups are of secondary importance to the major objective of improving the l i v i n g conditions of the pensioners.  Some  groups use recreational programs very deliberately as a way  of a t t r a c t i n g membership i n order to increase the  effectiveness of the organization i n demanding improved services f o r senior c i t i z e n s . Among the churches o f f e r i n g programs of a recreational nature for the senior c i t i z e n s there did not appear to be any deliberate attempt to combine the recreational and devotional aspects of t h e i r work.  Presumably  these churches are s a t i s f i e d that the programs need not be heavily slanted toward the s p i r i t u a l needs of members  -56s i n c e these can be more a p p r o p r i a t e l y met through the r e g u l a r s e r v i c e s o f the church and the p e r s o n a l of the m i n i s t e r . did  not c o n s i d e r  people. but  counsel  I t i s noteworthy that some m i n i s t e r s r e c r e a t i o n an important need among o l d e r  The reasoning  behind t h i s view was not explored,  i t was n o t i c e d t h a t the m i n i s t e r s expressing i t  belonged g e n e r a l l y to s e c t s o f strong persuasion  fundamentalist  f o r whom the joys and t r i b u l a t i o n s o f t h i s  world are as nothing  compared with the rewards to be  obtained  hereafter.  i n the l i f e  A major drawback to the r e c r e a t i o n a l programs sponsored by the p e n s i o n e r s ' i s that the m a j o r i t y  organizations  and the churches  o f the programs can be o f f e r e d  on a once o r twice-monthly b a s i s .  only  With one o r two except-  i o n s , such as the O l d Age Pensioners O r g a n i z a t i o n  Branch  i n Area A, and the r e t i r e d employees' club, f a c i l i t i e s a r e not  a v a i l a b l e on a r e g u l a r enough b a s i s to provide f o r  d a i l y meetings and a c t i v i t i e s ; y e t , most s e n i o r  citizens  have s u f f i c i e n t l e i s u r e time to take advantage o f more frequent  programs.  This question  o f a v a i l a b l e time probably  accounts i n p a r t f o r the o l d e r person's g r e a t e r use o f secondary r e c r e a t i o n a l f a c i l i t i e s , parks and a u c t i o n rooms.  such as l i b r a r i e s ,  The l a c k o f c o n t i n u i t y i n program  may a l s o account f o r the r a t h e r l i m i t e d use made o f some resources  by s e n i o r c i t i z e n s .  In t h i s connection  i t is  s i g n i f i c a n t t h a t the two Neighbourhood Houses s t u d i e d i n the survey o f f e r r e g u l a r and frequent  programs f o r the  s e n i o r c i t i z e n group and r e p o r t g r e a t e r enthusiasm and "self-involvement" resources  by members than do any o f the other  studied.  The p a r t p l a y e d  by the p r o f e s s i o n a l  s t a f f of the two Neighbourhood Houses i s no l e s s important as a f a c t o r i n ensuring By and  contrast,  the success o f these two programs.  i n the two groups which enjoy the grequent  r e g u l a r use o f f a c i l i t i e s but where p r o f e s s i o n a l  staff  i s not a v a i l a b l e , i t was obvious that the l e v e l o f enthusiasm and p a r t i c i p a t i o n on the p a r t o f the members was much lower, the c h i e f a t t r a c t i o n f o r the members being  the m a t e r i a l  b e n e f i t s a v a i l a b l e , such as refreshments, warmth and comfort. C l e a r l y , the c o n t i n u i t y o f program and the a v a i l a bility  o f p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a f f have an important bearing on  the c h a r a c t e r  o f the p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the members and the  s a t i s f a c t i o n which they d e r i v e from the program.  From the  p o i n t o f view of the number o f o l d people i n v o l v e d ,  i t was  noteworthy that the two groups r e p o r t i n g the l a r g e s t a t t e n dance a t monthly meetings o f f e r e d very, l i t t l e recreation.  Some e x p l a n a t i o n  i n the way o f  o f t h i s may be found i n the  f a c t that both o f these groups have i n the p a s t themselves around i s s u e s o f s o c i a l w e l f a r e  organized  important to  s e n i o r c i t i z e n s and have been supported wholeheartedly i n these s o c i a l a c t i o n endeavours.  I n t e r e s t i n g l y enough, the  l e a d e r s o f both these groups were o f the o p i n i o n membership c o u l d be i n c r e a s e d and present served  by developing  that  membership b e t t e r  t h e i r r e c r e a t i o n a l programs.  -58Some Observations on the Use Made of the Resources That many o l d e r people are  searching  for satis-  f y i n g ways of spending t h e i r l e i s u r e time i s e v i d e n t the number and v a r i e t y of r e c r e a t i o n a l resources make use  of.  Moreover, the  f i n d i n g s of the  from  that they  survey  confirm  the importance to the o l d e r person of r e c r e a t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s which f o s t e r a sense o f worth and u s e f u l n e s s ,  either  through i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with h i s peer group, or through p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n planning Generally,  and  the c a r r y i n g out of programs.  he p r e f e r s to f o l l o w p u r s u i t s that are  demanding of great  not It  was  noted that the pensioners tend to p r e f e r programs t h a t  are  rather passive  expenditure of p h y s i c a l energy.  i n nature, but  that they seemed to enjoy  some a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h younger age their recreation.  groups i n some aspects of  Thus t h e i r needs are p a r t l y to "have  done f o r them", but without being d e p r i v e d  of t h e i r  to make r e s p o n s i b l e d e c i s i o n s on t h e i r own  b e h a l f f i n choosing  their recreational a c t i v i t i e s .  Phrased i n another  t h e i r needs seem to be f o r e n a b l i n g usurp t h e i r freedom of choice,  capacity  way,  leadership that w i l l  but at the same time,  not  will  not demand an expenditure o f energy t h a t i s beyond t h e i r p h y s i c a l and  emotional c a p a c i t i e s to g i v e .  This survey  i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e i r l e v e l of enthusiasm and i s c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w ith the a v a i l a b i l i t y o f r  "self-involvement" leadership  o r o f c o n d i t i o n s which s a t i s f y these c r i t e r i a . f i n d the o l d e r person a v a i l i n g h i m s e l f o f two resources;  those that p r o v i d e  h i s needs, and  l e a d e r s h i p which  has  Thus,  we  main types of recognizes  those i n which no demands f o r a c t i v e p a r t i -  c i p a t i o n are p l a c e d upon him  as i n , f o r example,  concerts,  -59a u c t i o n s and l i b r a r y  facilities.  In g e n e r a l , the l e i s u r e time o u t l e t s s t u d i e d i n t h i s survey  tend only p a r t l y to meet t h e r e c r e a t i o n a l  needs o f o l d e r persons. and old-age p e n s i o n e r s '  Such resources  as church groups  o r g a n i z a t i o n s serve a u s e f u l  f u n c t i o n , but each, to a g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r extent, to old  fails  f a c i l i t a t e the l a t e n t l e a d e r s h i p w i t h i n t h e group o f people.  L i m i t e d p h y s i c a l f a c i l i t i e s and infrequency  of meetings c l e a r l y a c t as a b a r r i e r i n many cases to the development o f strong membership p a r t i c i p a t i o n ; i t i s noteworthy, however, t h a t where these  two o b s t a c l e s have  been overcome the l e v e l o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n by t h e o l d e r persons seems to vary  i n d i r e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p to the q u a l i t y  of leadership a v a i l a b l e .  I t was most n o t i c e a b l e t h a t p a r t i -  c i p a n t enthusiasm and s e l f - i n v o l v e m e n t was h i g h e s t  i n those  s t r u c t u r e d resources where p r o f e s s i o n a l l e a d e r s h i p was a v a i l a b l e , as f o r example a t the Neighbourhood Houses, and t h a t these q u a l i t i e s were a l s o evinced when strong, v o l u n t e e r l e a d e r s h i p was a v a i l a b l e . In the case o f the secondary l e i s u r e - t i m e  resources  such as movies, l i b r a r i e s and a u c t i o n houses, i t was more difficult  to evaluate l e v e l s o f p a r t i c i p a t i o n ,  because  p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n them i s g r e a t l y i n f l u e n c e d by t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s f i n a n c i a l resources as w e l l as by p e r s o n a l  interest.  It  i s p o s s i b l e t h a t many s e n i o r c i t i z e n s a v a i l themselves o f such resources  even though they  t h e i r p e r s o n a l needs, simply  c o n s i d e r them inadequate t o  because they  involve l i t t l e or  -60-  no f i n a n c i a l o u t l a y . because  Others may  use these r e s o u r c e s  o f i n t e r e s t i n the s u b j e c t matter that i t p r o v i d e s .  I t i s e q u a l l y probable that t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n these forms of r e c r e a t i o n i s i n f l u e n c e d by t h e i r l i m i t e d  and  d e c l i n i n g r e s e r v e s of p h y s i c a l and emotional energy.  In  any event, the i n f o r m a t i o n a v a i l a b l e from the p r e s e n t method o f study d i d not permit a proper e v a l u a t i o n o f these r e s o u r c e s o r t h e i r comparison with o t h e r evidence o b t a i n e d . Recommendations T h i s study has p o i n t e d out the r e l a t i v e p o v e r t y of Area B i n r e c r e a t i o n a l r e s o u r c e s f o r the aged. o f the a l r e a d y l a r g e number of e l d e r l y persons  In view  resident  i n the area and the l i k e l i h o o d of the numbers being f u r t h e r i n c r e a s e d as a r e s u l t of m i g r a t i o n from the West End from the areas scheduled f o r redevelopment i s e s s e n t i a l t h a t p l a n s be made now  and  by the c i t y , i t  f o r the improvement  of e x i s t i n g s e r v i c e s and the e s t a b l i s h m e n t , where i n d i c a t e d , of new  services.  The need f o r expansion and experimentation  i s o b v i o u s l y g r e a t , but i t i s e q u a l l y important to ensure t h a t the s e r v i c e s which are o f f e r e d are of the r i g h t k i n d . ^ A c c o r d i n g l y , before embarking on a l a r g e - s c a l e new  program  i t would seem wise to e s t a b l i s h a number o f p i l o t  projects  to determine  the u s e f u l n e s s and e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f p a r t i c u l a r  s e r v i c e s and of d i f f e r e n t approaches  to the problem.  i s a l o g i c a l p l a c e i n which to i n i t i a t e  Area  such p r o j e c t s .  ^Kutner, Bernard, F i v e Hundred over S i x t y , Sage Foundation, New York, 1956.  Russell  B  -61-  From the point of view of making better use of resources which already exists, the Parks' Board program perhaps offers the greatest p o s s i b i l i t i e s of immediate and wide-spread returns.  This i s especially true f o r the  elderly residents of the West End,  but i t i s clear that the  Parks' Board program i s p o t e n t i a l l y capable of making a s i g n i f i c a n t contribution to the welfare of older persons l i v i n g i n a l l parts of the c i t y . Physical f a c i l i t i e s i n Vancouver parks are generally satisfactory and often above average, but i n program planning there has been l i t t l e thought given to the special needs of older people.  The pattern of the Parks' Board programs  for the past eight years seems to have been one of emphasizing good physical plant and adequately supervised for children.  facilities  In these two areas there i s a f a i r l y  goal and purpose.  clear  Less clear are the goals and purposes of  the Board In respect to supervision and leadership i n adult activities.  The provision of leadership i s of p a r t i c u l a r  importance i n l e i s u r e time a c t i v i t i e s f o r the aged, but i t has been largely neglected i n the general parks' program. No doubt, there are good reasons f o r t h i s emphasis on programs f o r young people, but older persons make extensive use of parks and are probably more dependent for a greater range of satisfactions on what the Parks' Board has to o f f e r than i s the case with younger people who position to "take i t or leave i t " .  are i n a better  To say that older  persons depend f o r the s a t i s f a c t i o n of some of t h e i r  -62-  r e c r e a t i o n a l needs upon the parks' Board has the corresponding  Board and t h a t the Parks'  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to supply c e r t a i n  s e r v i c e s , does not, o f course,  imply  a relationship of  p a s s i v e dependency on the p a r t o f the aged. unequivocal  The one  f a c t which has emerged from the present  study  i s that the g r e a t e s t b e n e f i t s a r e c o n f e r r e d by those a c t i v i t i e s which enhance the o l d e r person's sense o f i n d i v i d u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e and u s e f u l n e s s , and that a l l e l s e i s little  b e t t e r than a p a l l i a t i v e .  important  that i n developing  Accordingly,  i t i s most  i t s s e r v i c e s the Parks'  Board  should e n l i s t the c o - o p e r a t i o n o f s s n i o r c i t i z e n s o r g a n i z a t i o n s and, e q u a l l y Important, t h a t the programs p r o v i d e d should be designed  t o develop maximum p a r t i c i p a t i o n on  the p a r t o f the o l d people themselves. The  s i t u a t i o n w i t h regard to the Parks'  program demonstrates most e f f e c t i v e l y operative planning  Board  the need f o r co-  and the p o o l i n g o f resources  between  the p u b l i c agency, the s e n i o r c i t i z e n s ' o r g a n i z a t i o n s and the p r i v a t e agency.  In t h i s regard,  the persons i n t e r v i e w e d i n the survey  i t i s noteworthy that i n v a r i a b l y commented  upon the o v e r r i d i n g need f o r c o o r d i n a t i o n o f t h e v a r i o u s programs and s e r v i c e s d i r e c t e d toward o l d e r persons. Community Chest and C o u n c i l , through i t s standing  The  committee  on the welfare o f the aged has t r i e d to meet t h i s need and over the years the committee has made some notable butions..  contri-  The problem, however, has become so v a s t and  complex t h a t i t i s u n r e a l i s t i c to expect a l a y group with  -63one p a r t - t i m e p r o f e s s i o n a l s t a f f to p r o v i d e an e f f e c t i v e service of coordination. Another important need, s t r e s s e d by the persons i n t e r v i e w e d was f o r a d d i t i o n a l counselling, s e r v i c e s s i m i l a r to those now o f f e r e d by t r a i n e d s o c i a l workers i n the two Neighbourhood Houses.  The value o f such a s e r v i c e i s t h a t  i t p r o v i d e s not only i n f o r m a t i o n and r e f e r r a l , where i n d i cated, to o t h e r a p p r o p r i a t e w e l f a r e sources, but a l s o  con-  s t i t u t e s a r e c o g n i z e d resource to which the o l d e r person can t u r n f o r h e l p i n d e a l i n g w i t h any one o f the innumerable problems which beset o l d age. G r e a t e r understanding  o f the p s y c h o - s o c i a l needs  of i n d i v i d u a l s has shown t h a t i t i s not enough to p r o v i d e f o r man's m a t e r i a l wants, such as food, housing and c l o t h i n g , although these a r e e s s e n t i a l , viduals.  i n o r d e r to have happy  indi-  One must a l s o p r o v i d e human companionship and  human i n t e r a c t i o n .  T h i s i s t r u e o f a l l age groups.  Older people  i n the North American c u l t u r e have  h i t h e r t o remained l a r g e l y i n t h e background, but i n the l a s t few years, an i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t has developed i n understanding  the s o c i a l a s p e c t s o f ageing.  standing, i t i s apparent  From t h i s under-  t h a t t h e o l d e r people are i n need  of s a t i s f y i n g r e c r e a t i o n a l o u t l e t s which w i l l assure them a continued and u s e f u l r o l e i n s o c i e t y and which w i l l  develop  t h e i r hidden s k i l l s and t a l e n t s . ' These questions should be approached simultaneously from the p o i n t o f view o f the i n d i v i d u a l , the f a m i l y and the community.  To p r o v i d e  -64happiness to the o l d e r people through a c t i v i t i e s which are w i t h i n t h e i r c a p a c i t i e s i n t h e i r l e i s u r e time should be a c h a l l e n g e to every t h i n k i n g member of the community.  BIBLIOGRAPHY Allen, Edward B., "The Psychology of Retirement," Journal of the American G e r i a t r i c s Society, v o l . 2, December 1954. Arthur, J. K.How to Help Older People. Nat'n Conf. ^ging, }|t$}' Bond, Floyed A., Barber, R. E., Our Needy Aged. Henry Holt & Co., New York, 1954. Bowman, Karl M., "Personality Adjustment i n Aging Adults," G e r i a t r i c s , v o l . 9, December 1 9 5 4 . Cavan, Burgess, Personal Adjustments i n the Old Age. Science • Research Associates Inc., Chicago, 1949. English, Spurgeon 0., Pearson, Gerald, H. J., Emotional Problems of Living. W. V/. Norton & Company, New York, 1 9 5 5 . Francis, Helen and others, "Serving the Older Person; A Multiple Approach by the Family Agency," Social Casework, v o l . 35, July 1954. French, David G., An Approach to Measuring Results i n Social Work, Columbia University Press, New York, 1952. Friedmann, Eugene A. and Havighurst, Robert J . , The Meaning of Work and Retirement, The University of Chicago Press, 1954. Grant, Joan, Recreational Interests and A c t i v i t i e s f o r Senior Citizens i n Vancouver, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1954. Havighurst. Robert J., "Social and Psychological Needs of the Aging, Annals of the American Academy of P o l i t i c a l Social Science, v o l . 2 7 9 , January 1952. 1  Kaplan, Jerome, A Social Program f o r Older People, The University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1 9 5 3 . Kessler, Henry H . , The P r i n c i p l e s and Practices of Rehabilitation, Lea and Ferbiger, Philadelphia, 1950. Kutner, Bernard and others, Five Hundred over Sixty, Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1956. Lawton, George, Aging Successfully, Columbia University Press, New York, 1946. New Goals f o r Old Age, Columbia University Press, New York, 1943.  S e l e c t e d Papers on the Aging,. N a t i o n a l Conference o f S o c i a l Work, Chicago, I l l i n o i s " , 1952. "Services f o r the Aged i n Canada" Department o f N a t i o n a l H e a l t h and Welfare, Research and S t a t i s t i c s D i v i s i o n , June, 1957. S t i e g l i t z , Edward J . , ed. G e r i a t r i c Medicine. J . B. L i p p i n c o t t Co., P h i l a d e l p h i a , 1954. Towles, C h a r l o t t e , Common Human Needs, American A s s o c i a t i o n Of S o c i a l Workers, New York, 1952. Woods, James H . , H e l p i n g Older People Enjoy L i f e . Harper .& Brothers, New York, 1953.  APPENDIX A  . . . 1  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  Columbia  LEISURE-TIME ACTIVITIES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS  I am making a survey of s e r v i c e s and needs f o r older persons i n your d i s t r i c t . Would you be w i l l i n g to give me the b e n e f i t of your experience i n t h i s matter? Stamped and addressed envelope enclosed f o r your convenience. r e t u r n promptly.  1.  How  2,.  What are the purposes of your organization?  3.  What i s your approximate membership (January 1958)?  4.  How  Please  long has your o r g a n i z a t i o n or club e x i s t e d i n Vancouver?  often does your o r g a n i z a t i o n meet?  Men  Women;...  Weekly...monthly...other.......  What k i n d of s o c i a l program do you organize f o r your members?  Kind  How  o f t e n do they meet Weekend  Weekdays  (Please use back of sheet i f f u r t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n h e l p f u l ) . 6.  Which are the most' attended or most popular programs?  7,  What are the main reasons that b r i n g people to your organization? . . .  8,  HVvre you had requests f o r any p a r t i c u l a r , k i n d of a c t i v i t i e s or s e r v i c e s ? Please give d e t a i l s  9.  What i n your opinion, are the main problems f a c i n g older people i n your area  °  What s e r v i c e s could be provided to help.meet these problems?  . . . . . .  Would you V>e w i n T T J ? to 6i scuss • * • • * > < * lopi'c sry* wcW "is of Senior C i t i z e n s iv? I could make an appointment to meet you or other executive members of your Organization. OT  (Miss) Edda Andresson Research Student, School of S o c i a l Work.  APPENDIX A  . . .2  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  Columbia  LEISURE-TIME ACTIVITIES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS I am making a survey of s e r v i c e s and needs f o r older people i n your d i s t r i c t . Would you be w i l l i n g to give me the b e n e f i t of your experience i n t h i s matter? Stamped addressed envelope enclosed f o r your convenience. In w r i t i n g up the survey, no mention w i l l be made of any i n d i v i d u a l church by name (unless you so d e s i r e ) . Please r e t u r n promptly.  1.  Do you have a s u b s t a n t i a l number of older persons i n your congregation? Ye s... No....  2.  What i s the (estimated) number of older people who at your church?  3.  Under 25  25-50  attend Sunday S e r v i c e s  50-100  over 100  Has the number changed i n your observation, over the l a s t 5 years? I f so, i n what way  4.  Does your Church organize s p e c i a l a c t i v i t e s f o r i t s members, over and above the r e l i g i o u s s e r v i c e s ? Yes... No...  5.  Please l i s t these a c t i v i t i e s , and how Mainly f o r older Description  Persons Meetings  o f t e n they meet: Open to A l l  Description  Meetings  "i  (Please use back of sheet i f f u r t h e r d e s c r i p t i o n h e l p f u l ) . 6.  In your opinion, which of these programs are of most i n t e r e s t to older people?  7.  In your Church, are there any s p e c i a l e f f o r t s or plans made to older people to attend church a c t i v i t i e s (describe)  8.  iVhat s p e c i a l e f f o r t s do you t h i n k would h e l p older people t o p a r t i c i p a t e more f u l l y i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s ? ' (describe)  9.  Do you see a n e c e s s i t y f o r s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s or programs e t c . which have not been met i n your area? Please i n d i c a t e  encourage  (Miss) Edda Andresson Research Student, School of S o c i a l Work.  APPENDIX B  

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