In February, ’Snow Days’ affected people’s access to TAPS as we closed the facility a few times when travelling to pick up participants was deemed unsafe. Our staff and bus drivers made special arrangements for folks living up hills and in areas where the snow and ice created access issues and treacherous underfoot conditions. This situation highlighted that interruptions in programming have a significant effect on caregivers. Our daily check in calls by staff were especially important during closed days. Calls ensured participants were safe and we were able to find out what they might need.
The ‘bugs’ making their way through the community affected our attendance too. Yet despite it all, we’ve had many days of usual and special programming with tai chi, music and art, games, the walking group, cooking and more. Valentine’s Day was a hit with a special lunch, quizzes and silly prizes. Cultural themed lunches have been a hit with ‘arm chair travel’ celebrating with Ukrainian facts, views of Holland and soon to come, Irish presentations. Swan Valley and Crestview residents will be the recipients of a TAPS choir and band St Patrick’s Day singalong and skits.
TAPS and VCS welcome our new employee Amanda Anstee as part time temporary assistant to the program. This is made possible thanks to collaboration with the Town of Creston and funding from UBCM. When I asked Amanda the usual question about how she came to be living in Creston, I almost laughed (hearing a familiar Creston arrival story) when she said: “I was living in Ontario and came on a camping trip 5 years ago. When it was time to go home, I called my parents and said, send my things, I’m staying here, and so I did” As we visited, I began to understand why she fits this program so well. Amanda talked about feeling at home with older people all her life, her comfort being with them, her interest in hearing their stories of what they’d experienced and seen in their lives. “I’m fascinated to learn and discover things through their eyes, about their history and life from another perspective.” “I’ve also seen what happens to people’s mood and demeanor when they can share their memories and be heard, it brings them to life each time.” Amanda has not only worked, but also volunteered in the health sector before coming here, and we look forward to the contributions she will bring to our family of TAPS seniors, staff and volunteers.
What a winter eh? Our heroes are the bus drivers again, and all the volunteers who bring cheer to our seniors despite outside grey days. And a Warm Welcome to our new volunteers: Joanne Delmage, Marge Kennedy, Bea Reiche and Barbara Brummond.
TAPS operates under the auspices of Valley Community Services. The program exists due to grants and the generosity of community donors. We now have a new Planned Giving Program to create a Legacy Endowment Fund for TAPS to ensure long term sustainability for this valuable program. Contact us at 250-428-5547 for more information. www.valley.services.ca