Gisele Martin leads a Senior’s Lunchbox walk in the forest as part of local programming designed to keep the Coast’s older locals healthy and active. (Tarni Jacobsen photo)

Gisele Martin leads a Senior’s Lunchbox walk in the forest as part of local programming designed to keep the Coast’s older locals healthy and active. (Tarni Jacobsen photo)

Pacific Rim Hospice Society seeking feedback from Older Adults

“We want to offer a platform to voice what may or may not be working.”

Calling all Older Adults (55+) from Hesquiaht to Macoah, Tofino, Ucluelet and Area “C”: Pacific Rim Hospice Society in collaboration with the West Coast Senior Services Network would love to hear from you.

A survey is underway to unearth ways to help Older Adults live healthier and happier at home in their west coast communities. Pacific Rim Hospice Society Research Assistant Janine Croxall said since launching the survey on Nov. 16 she has received 78 responses. She wants to connect with more Older Adults, especially those voices who aren’t being heard.

“We hope to hear from a diversity of Older Adults to advocate for more supports across all of our west coast communities to help individuals to age in place, and to increase the capacity of programs and services when those who are still very active and independent may find themselves in need,” said Croxall.

“Many individuals are very active and independent and foresee being so for many years to come; others could benefit from more services immediately. Some questions may not apply at all to you and can be left blank; others may apply in the near future and beyond. Our hope is for this survey to offer a platform to voice what may and may not be working to help people continue living in their home on the west coast as long as they wish,” she said.

According to the Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region’s 2018 Vital Signs report, the number of Older Adults residing on the west coast has increased six per cent over the last 10 years. Older Adults make up 21 per cent of the population in the region. What’s more, in the 2016 community health survey conducted by the Rural and Remote Division of Family Practice, 32 per cent of seniors reported they had to travel to a different community to visit their doctor. The Older Adult survey is anonymous and features 23 questions geared towards transportation, food, non-medical home supports, information access / exchange, and community / social inclusion.

“Community responses will help us create on-going programs and services and better understand our west coast needs,” notes Croxall.

Anyone interested in participating, can visit home page for a link to the survey. Paper copies are also available for pick-up or drop-off at the Tofino and Ucluelet Co-ops. Furthermore, Croxall says to call her at (250) 725-1240 to talk over the phone.

“We want to offer a platform to voice what may or may not be working,” she said. “We are trying to be inclusive. Everyone is unique and individual. When people get to that age, they often have to leave, which is why we need to establish programs for better transportation and funding for minor home repairs.”

Croxall went on to thank the BC Community Response Network for funding the project and to the Co-ops for donating two $100 gift cards for a draw prize for those who complete the survey. The deadline to get surveys in is Dec. 21, 2020.

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READ: Tips on how to protect your aging loved ones from financial abuse

READ: Pacific Rim Hospice Society gifting free wellness “check-ins” to all West Coast residents


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