The realities of coping with the responsibilities of daily life at home alone can translate into a nightmare for some seniors.
But the Family Resource Centre has hired Jennifer Lindal as the provincially funded Better At Home co-ordinator, to lend a helping hand to those who wish to maintain their independence at home.
It’s all about paying it forward, reducing isolation and building healthy relationships with your neighbours, Ms. Lindal told The Echo last week.
“When I saw that we had an (internal) posting for this (job), I felt really strongly that seniors should get to stay in their own homes for as long as (they) can,” said Ms. Lindal. “As long as there’s not a medical reason.”
The Better At Home program helps seniors accomplish non-medical tasks to remain living at home and stay connected with their communities through a collective effort.
“We’ll have both volunteers and paid staff and subcontractors who will do many different jobs to support seniors in many different facets (of life, such as) friendly visits, transportation… it’s called the Columbia Valley Better At Home program so there are programs all the way from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen,” said Ms. Lindal. “That’s over 100 kilometres, and that makes us unique to any of the other pilot projects. In that, there are lots of seniors in our outlying communities who can’t get to places they need to for their doctor’s appointments and to buy their groceries, so transportation was a huge part of the reason as to why we need a program like this.”
Ms. Lindal believes the distance spanning the Columbia Valley means that some seniors are left at home in isolation. She expects to help others improve their quality of life with a supportive team by lending a helping hand with housekeeping, yard work and snow shovelling.
“We have a sliding scale for payment,” said Ms. Lindal, “so, depending on a senior’s income, it will depend on that (to determine) what they will pay. It goes right from paying for the service fully down to a free service.”
She clarified that the friendly visits and transportation are free services for every senior within the Columbia Valley. However, seniors who wish to have help with housekeeping and yard work will be required to pay for the service.
It remains unknown when the program will be launched, but Ms. Lindal is optimistic the program will run soon.
“In this catchment area, we do have 980 seniors over the age of 65, which was one of the criteria for us to be eligible for this program here,” concluded Ms. Lindal.