Better At Home program’s aim to connect seniors, community

Volunteers needed to help get new service off the ground

Mitzi Dean (in black) stands with Pacific Centre Family Services Association staff Deborah Wilson

A new program is launching at the Pacific Centre Family Services Association to connect West Shore seniors with their community.

The “Better At Home” program is brand new, and funded by the government of Canada.

“What we’re trying to do is identify volunteers and senior-friendly services to support seniors in the West Shore, so they can live more independently and with more dignity at home,” said Mitzi Dean, executive director of the association.

“A lot of seniors on the West Shore are a bit isolated. The absolute goal of (the program) is to help seniors living in their homes stay there longer.”

The program isn’t designed to provide medical or life-saving services, but rather to help seniors live their day-to-day lives with ease and comfort.

“It’s about helping them to socialize, and helping them to actually get to places,” Dean said.

Volunteers are able to sign up for a variety of assignments, including driving seniors to appointments or to run errands, socializing with them and doing small, odd jobs.

“There are lots of different ways to help out,” Dean added. “Little things that will help them stay more independent.

The program is also in need of volunteers to help out, she said.

The official program launch is Thursday, Nov. 20 at Church of the Advent, 510 Mount View Ave. in Colwood, from 2 to 4 p.m.

The afternoon is open to caregivers, family members and friends of seniors and senior-friendly businesses. Dean, West Shore Chamber of Commerce president Doug Kobayashi and Esquimalt-Royal Roads MLA Maurine Karagianis will be speaking, and local musicians Sophia Higgins and Ben Baird will be providing entertainment.

“We’re looking to refer seniors to the program, and connect them with senior-friendly services and businesses,” Dean said.

For more information, call Pacific Centre Family Services Association at 250-478-8357.

acowan@goldstreamgazette.com