Opinion

Our take: Cowichan at the co-op seniors care vanguard

When it comes to volunteering, social initiatives and taking care of our own, Cowichan takes a back seat to no one.

So it is no coincidence our community is the first in B.C. to qualify for a planning grant through the national Caring Co-operatively Elder Care Project initiative.

The issue is as obvious as an early-morning coffee clatch. The Baby Boomers are aging. With government and private support systems dealing with their own challenges, the system needs innovation to make sure this large segment of our population is well-cared for as its members head into their twilight years.

The Elder Care Co-op aims to create a model where much of that care will come from each other.

The concept works on the idea that seniors can pool their money in order to get access to services like transportation, home care, grocery shopping and more, right up to establishing a housing resident-owned housing complex with quality of life being the primary focus.

About 125 people turned out to a fall meeting held in Duncan to gauge interest, a show of social conscience that immediately shot Cowichan to the head of the initiative’s priority list.

A planning group formed out of the meeting and has now taken the reins of moving the project forward. The Caring Co-operatively planning grant will allow them to consult potential members, create a workable business plan and establish the local co-op.

The goal is to not only provide a necessary service, but to create a template that can be copied across the province.

Given our community’s track record, we have no doubt they will succeed.

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