The Seniors Resource Fair proved that the Cariboo region is age-friendly with another impressive event at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre on Thursday, June 20.
Jackie O’Gorman and Donna Morrison are both volunteers on the steering committee of the Age Friendly Society. They volunteered at the Seniors Resource Fair last year, too and said this year’s event was wonderful.
Sheri Salo attended the Seniors Fair as a member of the South Cariboo Weavers, Spinners, and Fibre Artists.
“I’m spinning silk,” she explained without missing a beat of her foot peddle.
Depending on what project you’re working on and the material being used, spinning or weaving can take differing amounts of time.
Anita Stoughton is also a member of the group. During the group’s time at the Seniors Fair she used Merino for a project, a wool collected from an Australian breed of sheep.
Roze Sander made up the third member of the group, and she was spinning alpaca fleece from alpacas she raised herself. About 36 members from all over the South Cariboo are involved with the club, said Sander: “From 70 Mile to Lac la Hache. We do within a 100 mile radius.”
The group even has one male member who is completing his masters in weaving. Their work will be displayed throughout the coming week at the Sunrise Ford Dealership as part of the Art Crawl.
Liz Jones works with the Adult Day Service Program in 100 Mile House and was on site to spread the word about the Adult Day program on Thursday: “The more people that know about it the better. We’re kind of a jewel in the dark. This is our 30th year in 100 Mile.”
The program provides all sorts of services to seniors and those who attend get to experience highlights such as Murphy the therapeutic St. Bernard, who visits the Adult Day program once a week. Murphy lives in the 108, but always brings a smile to the seniors in the program, said Jones.
“Some people don’t have any other access to getting out, so they can come to us, socialize, and get mental and physical activity. We try to do as many outings as possible.”
The program provides brain food like word searches, crossword puzzles, drawings, and lively discussions to help keep participants feeling sharp. When it was particularly cold one winter, the organizers even brought Hawaii to the Adult Day Program. From judo-based exercises to badminton with a balloon or soccer with soft balls, volunteers do everything they can to keep participants feeling included and worthwhile in the community.
Other interesting booths featured at the event included the South Cariboo Genealogy Group, who meet to research and discuss their ancestry and backgrounds. Philip Konrad is a facilitator who was on site to represent 100 Mile House’s Parkinson SuperWalk that will take place on September 7 at 1 p.m. in Centennial Park. Konrad’s family has been personally affected by Parkinson’s disease, which is why he helped to bring the SuperWalk to the community. The SuperWalk is the largest annual fundraising event for Parkinson Society BC.
Jenny Baker is a young entrepreneur who brought over 200 business cards to her first Seniors Fair this year but left with less than a handful.
“I was kind of in awe when I walked in,” said Baker. “There are so many booths here today. This is amazing, I’m so happy that the Age Friendly Society puts on this event.”
Baker is a local who identified a gap within the community that she has since endeavoured to fill.
“I just started April 1,” she explained. “I’m actually a certified care aid. I’ve worked in home-support and assisted living facilities and this is kind of a gap that I’ve seen in our community. There was nobody to drive people to appointments or come in and do cooking. Now you’ve got me.”
Baker says that some of her most frequent requests include chaperoning trips to Kamloops, Kelowna, or Williams lake for vacuolar degeneration shots, but she provides a variety of offerings through her business, Sunshine Senior Services.
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