October 2, 2012
Mae Couzens-Duffy was affiliated with the Seniors Population Panel for four years and during that time served as a co-chair.
In recognition and support of National Seniors Day on October 1, we would like to invite you to celebrate seniors in our Toronto communities. Through their commitment to remain active, engaged and informed, seniors across the country are demonstrating to Canadians of all ages exactly what it means to age well. And we are all benefiting from their ongoing contributions.
Every day, seniors right here in the St. Joe's community are making a big difference, and Mae Couzens-Duffy is such an example. Mae is living a life full of family, friends, and travel. In her 77th year, she exclaims that life couldn't be any better. Her effervescent personality and zest for life are evident to any who are graced with her presence.
"I often say that my joy is family and my passion is community," said Mae. That passion is undeniable when looking at the long list of agencies, organizations and causes that she dedicates her time to.
At St. Joseph's Health Centre, Mae was affiliated with the Seniors Population Panel for four years and during that time served as a co-chair. Due to her notable work and tremendous commitment to the Panel she was asked to join the Seniors Friendly Hospital Steering Committee at the Health Centre, which helps povide guidance to the organization as to how St. Joe's can deliver services in a more senior friendly manner.
Out in the community, Mae has been an active member of 4CATS (Four Villages and Committed Action Team for Seniors) for over six years. When she joined the group, she enlisted the group to help with advocating for the high density seniors population in the area to have an elevator installed in the Keele Street Subway station. "One day I counted and there are 42 stairs down to the trains and no elevator. I'm pretty mobile, but I've seen those stairs affect others."
Through 4CATS, Mae worked with TTC chair, Karen Stinz and was able to reduce the installation date of an elevator in the station from 2025 to 2014.
Since 2007, Mae has also been a valuable member of the Senior's Advisory Panel for the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network, which has contributed to informing many different strategies, such as Senior Friendly Hospitals and Aging At Home, resulting in new initiatives which are providing seniors with more care options in their communities and homes, as well as extra supports to remain independent and avoid hospitalization.
"This city runs on volunteers and really, most of them are unsung heroes," she said. However, Mae's unwavering commitment to bettering her community, particularly for the older generations, has not gone unnoticed. This year the Seniors Population Panel nominated Mae for an Ontario Senior's Achievement Award in the category of Community Service. On October 5, 2012 Mae's contributions will be publically recognized as she receives her award at a special ceremony held at Queen's Park.
With this years' National Seniors Day theme being "Longevity: Shaping the Future" formally recognizing the tremendous contributions of Canadian seniors, Mae is doing her part to shape the future for seniors in the City of Toronto. "I thought it would be all over at this stage of my life, but truly it's just beginning," she said.
St. Joseph's is proud of the seniors in our community and we value and respect their contributions to not only the Health Centre, but also to society, and they, like Mae, deserve our thanks.
Page last updated: March 25, 2011