West Coast older adults (65+) from Hot Springs Cove to Macoah, Tofino, Ucluelet and Area “C” are getting a boost of support thanks to a provincial grant for the Pacific Rim Better at Home program.
Some of the future support services the program may offer are: a Friendly Visiting Program, which pairs volunteers with older adults for conversation and companionship, transportation to medical appointments, assistance with grocery and pharmacy shopping, light housekeeping, and light yard work.
Tarni Jacobsen, executive director of the Pacific Rim Hospice Society, says the funding of about $88,000 per year is in place until March 2023.
“Sometimes older adults have to leave the communities because there is not enough services for them. This is making it a priority to service the older adults in the region,” said Jacobsen.
“We are hoping this will become a regularly funded program. We realize that a lot of the programs start and then stop due to lack of funding,” she went on to say.
Next steps include hiring a coordinator, forming an Advisory Committee made up of older adults/elders to help guide this program, and recruiting volunteers for the Friendly Visiting Program. Pacific Rim Hospice will also be hiring contractors such as house cleaners, landscapers and maintenance companies.
“The Advisory Committee will be guiding the whole program essentially,” said Jacobsen. “Ideally, we would like to have representative from each of the West Coast communities.”
The Pacific Rim Better at Home Program is managed by United Way British Columbia as part of their Healthy Aging program portfolio. With the funding secured, the Pacific Rim joins a network of over 80 Better at Home programs that are being delivered by community-based agencies in locations across B.C.
Jacobsen notes that the program has been made possible by the hard work of the West Coast Seniors Services Network, a cohort of individuals working with older adults in the region.
“That includes a team of over 50 different service providers. Ursula from the AV Employment was a huge champion. She put in countless hours,” Jacobsen said.
To see the complete Better at Home Program Co-ordinator job description and to learn more about the program visit: http://www.pacificrimhospice.ca/ or call 250-725-1240.