People attending the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors choose the number of days they want to come and what programs they will participate in. We anticipate that there will be an ebb and flow of participation and the staff and volunteers respect individual choices while gently encouraging some as seems appropriate. Volunteers also schedule their hours and days with Bridget and Wendy, who manage the program and accommodate for the volunteers’ personal needs. Morning check-in phone calls from TAPS are appreciated by the seniors to let staff know how they are doing, and the time is also used for scheduling transportation needs, meal numbers and to remind folks of special events and programs that are on that day.
Speaking of volunteers, in adding up their hours for 2015, it shows that people have put in about 160-180 hours a month. They help with programs, kitchen work, fundraising, special events, general help and vehicle maintenance. Thank you hardly comes close to the value you all bring to our seniors at TAPS with your caring, creativity and work.
Being active is a message we’ve often heard and increasingly, as research backs up, claims of the benefits of movement for physical, mental, spiritual and social well being for all ages. We are grateful for our tai chi volunteer programmers Barry and Judy Freeman who bring this program weekly to TAPS. They are dedicated leading our group in gentle movements and learning how to increase their mobility, flexibility and balance. Did I mention the laughter that resounds as well as the stillness? Sometimes it seems they are having way too much fun as they are encouraged and challenged to explore new things and information.
Going to the pool at the Creston and District Community Complex once a week is another well subscribed program. TAPS volunteers join staff in assisting those who use mobility aids to safely get in and out of the pool, as well as those needing help in the change rooms. Buoyancy and playing in the water work together for a practical and fun way to move easily. We appreciate having the pool so accessible.
For the next month, as part of our continuing Intergenerational Connections program funded through a New Horizons for Seniors grant, we welcome students from the Mormon Hills School in exploring “kitchen culture” together. I wonder what they will get up to. Thanks to Val van der Poel, who is leading the group, along with students from Wildflower in various art techniques to tell their stories.
Maureen Cameron is the community liaison co-ordinator for the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.