I happened to be visiting in-laws in Nanaimo recently, and while there I took notice of some of the family room posted notices which referred to the various programs and services which are available and well underway, in that community.
I noted a reminder that a new program for seniors entitled “Better at Home” was being offered in that area as well as close to 70 other communities of varied population sizes including Nakusp and vicinity.
A province-wide support for seniors, Better at Home is intended to help older citizens to age in place with dignity and also to stay socially connected. This initiative also helps to prevent social isolation, recognizing seniors are viewed as being the most vulnerable within the general population.
The following reminders include a brief description of the subsidized (or in some cases, free) programs which are now in effect (or hopefully soon will be) within the Nakusp area.
These include snow-shoveling using willing volunteers and those who wish to use the service themselves. Information regarding eligibility may be obtained by contacting Susan, coordinator of the Nakusp area program.
Beginning once a month, grocery shopping using the original community bus may be used to ensure transportation for patients requiring medical appointments. This service will be of special assistance to those who live in the Edgewood, Fauquier, Arrow Park and surrounding areas. Cost is by donation.
In order to continue to make any of the Better at Home services and programs successful, more volunteers will be needed. Each are designed to offer affordable assistance to seniors aged 65 and over, who reside within our own area.
Owing to the recent challenging weather conditions, some of our seniors have found it difficult to get out and about, so willing volunteer drivers who reach out to older members of our community who require assistance, is greatly appreciated.
It is also hoped that an especially valued program will soon be available, referred to as our local Friendly Visitors. The aim of this program is to ensure elders who would appreciate an in-person or telephone visit on a regular basis, would be made available as it is in many other communities around the province.
Numerous other non-medical programs and services will develop within the months ahead, including assistance with light housekeeping, garden chores and the raking of leaves, according to the appropriate season.
More details and ideas in which seniors can receive support and encouragement will follow throughout the weeks ahead, so keep tuned into the Seniors’ Column, published every Thursday in the Arrow Lakes News.
Information is available by contacting Susan Kustuch at 250-265-8747.