Businesses catering to West Shore seniors are banding together to create a new directory of their services.
The one-stop guide is the first project of the West Shore Senior Services Network, which held its inaugural monthly meeting in early August.
“People don’t know what’s available out here, so they end up travelling to Victoria to get something they could have found around the corner,” said Nicole Donaldson, who started the network after her private day care for adults with dementia struggled to attract clients since opening in April.
While she stands to benefit from the new way to advertise her business, she says when she attends seniors’ meetings many lament the lack of a local service directory.
A directory that exists for Greater Victoria, created by Seniors Serving Seniors, covers Sooke to Salt Spring, but has few listings for West Shore.
Donaldson wants the local directory to include listings for reliable general service providers, such as plumbers and house cleaners, who may not be senior-specific but who are accustomed to working for older clients.
“Seniors are more vulnerable to scams, and if they have anxiety about being ripped off, they can use our directory to find someone we trust,” Donaldson said. “We’ll be putting our name behind this, so we’re going to make sure everyone listed in it is reliable.”
Donaldson has been busy calling businesses she wants included in the directory and seeking referrals through word of mouth. She doesn’t plan to charge people to be included, and hopes to find a donation of printing services to keep the directory free.
“If the stars align, we’ll have it done before Christmas,” Donaldson said.
She is also looking for businesses to join the West Shore Senior Services Network, which is also free to be a part of and currently has 19 members.
The group’s meetings rotate between the member-businesses, giving each an opportunity to showoff their spaces.
The next meeting will be hosted by Donaldson at Open Hearts, 647 Kelly Rd., Sept. 8 at 8 a.m. To join the group, call 250-391-9827 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.