Kudos to caring professionals
Thoughts of death are shoved to the background of our minds for most of us as we age, suddenly emerging from the shadows from time to time to confront us when we are anxious or have a health scare or lose a friend or relative. Then we are compelled to focus our thoughts on our inevitable future. Last week my neighbor, who lived across the road from me, died and I was the one to find her lying peacefully on her sofa just as if she were sleeping. Fortunately Candis, another neighbor, was with me and a great support. Still it was a terrible shock and although she wasn’t a close friend it affected me deeply.
Most people, I think, dread the idea of finding someone dead. I know I have thought about this in the past and hoped it would never happen but I also know that as I, and my friends and neighbors, survive the years, the chances are better that it will happen. The first responders to our 911 call were businesslike and quick but after determining that they could do nothing more were solicitous and kind. Police were next on the scene and after telling my story to them too, they also were caring and empathetic and took on the duty of notifying relatives. Then the coroner attended and once again I told him the circumstances of how my neighbor was found. Again, nothing but kindness, patience and sympathy was offered. It is good to know that we have this kind of support in a terrible situation and it did make it easier for me. On reflection and after processing the shock, I think dying peacefully in one’s sleep in our own home is a great gift and one most of us would prefer. Bon voyage, Audrey.
Do you want answers to some of the problems you or other seniors have? You will get your chance to ask candidates in the upcoming election questions about their policies regarding seniors’ issues on Tuesday at People Place at 10 a.m. The Seniors Action Network, SAN, will be asking candidates questions that deal with repeatedly identified seniors’ issues such as appointing an advocate, financial assistance for services not now covered, additional home support so that seniors can stay in their own homes longer, etc. People in the audience will also have an opportunity to question the candidates about their own specific concerns. This is the chance to hear who will better represent you in the upcoming election. For more information, call the Seniors Information and Resource Bureau at 250-545-8572.
Which brings me to the news that the Seniors Information and Resource Bureau’s office is moving from People Place at the end of March. Unfortunately they are still awaiting confirmation from Interior Health of their new sponsor and new address, as the Social Planning Council which has overseen this program for many years will no longer be performing this duty after the end of March. I am assured that the program will continue and I certainly hope so. This program has helped countless number of seniors resolve so many issues over the years and has a valued and reliable corps of senior volunteers whom many people rely on for rides, helping around the house, friendly visiting and minor repairs and snow shoveling, among other jobs they do.
Helping low-income seniors complete their tax returns free of charge is another service offered by SIRB but because of the upcoming move, trained volunteers will be doing taxes from the Schubert Centre until April 22, 2013 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your 2012 Income Tax Return, this year’s T4’s, pension slips, etc. to Schubert Centre where volunteers will “netfile” your taxes on the computer and then you can pick up your return. All completed taxes must be picked up by April 22. Call 250-545-8572 for more information.
If you have any comments or questions you can call me at 250-542-7928 or e-mail email@example.com
Pat Black writes about a variety of topics of interest to seniors in the North Okanagan, appearing every other Sunday.